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    Question Question on style

    They way I see it, style is about exaggerating proportions and what symbols one uses. As long as you follow the rules you've set consistently and follow anatomy, you can tweak proportions and have it look okay. (With a few exceptions, like Olive Oyl limbs and superheroine swivel-chair spine syndrome.) My question is, just how far can you take these proportions before it stops being stylized and becomes bad art? What is the difference between accepted stylizing (Adventure Time, The World Ends With You, Avatar (both series)) and unacceptable stylizing (not going to name names here)?

    Edit: Sorry, I should have been a bit more specific. I mean style in character design.

    Last edited by devyni; August 8th, 2012 at 09:58 PM. Reason: See above.
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    No,
    Style is your finite limitations as an artist. It is bad art when you aren't in control of your medium and what you create lacks any truthfulness or insight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by devyni View Post
    They way I see it, style is about exaggerating proportions and what symbols one uses.
    Yes, as clearly seen they exaggerated proportions.



    Just saying it's a bit more complicated than what you described...

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; August 8th, 2012 at 08:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by devyni View Post
    What is ... accepted stylizing ?
    This is where I got confused.

    What would Caravaggio do?
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    It becomes bad art when it stops communicating and becomes an amateurish mess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by devyni View Post
    They way I see it,
    Keep learning.
    Quote Originally Posted by devyni View Post
    What is the difference between accepted stylizing (Adventure Time, The World Ends With You, Avatar (both series)) and unacceptable stylizing (not going to name names here)?
    Context.


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    Sorry, I was kind of simplifying and didn't realize I was being kind of vague. I mean style in character design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    This is where I got confused.
    Well, in children's cartoons, the proportions are usually far from realistic, but it's an accepted break in reality. But then there are artists whose personal styles also have unrealistic proportions, but they are unaccepted breaks. I'm basically trying to figure out the difference between the two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    No,
    Style is your finite limitations as an artist. It is bad art when you aren't in control of your medium and what you create lacks any truthfulness or insight.
    Um... Sorry, I still don't quite understand. But I think what you mean is, try to fix and notice mistakes, but make sure that any exaggeration is done on purpose? Sorry if I'm misinterpreting you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by devyni View Post
    Um... Sorry, I still don't quite understand. But I think what you mean is, try to fix and notice mistakes, but make sure that any exaggeration is done on purpose? Sorry if I'm misinterpreting you.
    Exaggeration should be done with knowledge of how to do it correctly in the first place. If you can't do it correctly, then any exaggeration is essentially just ignorance.

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    Style is a projected recurring individuality in the way an artist does things.
    Bad Art is when he does that out of lack of ability.

    For example Picasso proved that his later style of figure drawing (if you can call it that) was actually a choice because he proved to be capable of drawing in a more realistic style had he wanted to.

    Style is also influenced by the weight of the line, use of colors and so on...

    Technically there is no such thing as bad art, art is art , however nowadays art that is not commercially viable is rather useless and artists who have nothing that defines their work and sets it apart in some way typically have no style of their own.(You could arguably say that about people who only learned to draw Disney figures for example)

    Edit: I should also correct what I say in that the Artist doesn't exactly chooses the style, its something that evolves because it is imbued in the core of the Artist's being.
    I know that some people try to develop style artificially (what you call stylized) but that is often something very forced.

    Last edited by LightandDark; August 8th, 2012 at 11:07 PM.
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    however nowadays art that is not commercially viable is rather useless
    I won't even address the bad art comment but do you really believe this? Commerce defines art?

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    Why address any of it?


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    This thread is gonna really suck or totally deliver in perhaps the worst way possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    I won't even address the bad art comment but do you really believe this? Commerce defines art?
    No, I never said commerce defines art.
    Not all art is usable, some of it is just there for inspiration or self-serving purposes.

    If you want to define bad art, please do, I can't think of a clear objective definition for it since it is something subjective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nocozo View Post
    Exaggeration should be done with knowledge of how to do it correctly in the first place. If you can't do it correctly, then any exaggeration is essentially just ignorance.
    Rules were made to be broken, but you have to know the rules and why they exist before you can start breaking them?

    Quote Originally Posted by LightandDark View Post
    Style is a projected recurring individuality in the way an artist does things.
    Bad Art is when he does that out of lack of ability.

    For example Picasso proved that his later style of figure drawing (if you can call it that) was actually a choice because he proved to be capable of drawing in a more realistic style had he wanted to.

    Style is also influenced by the weight of the line, use of colors and so on...

    Technically there is no such thing as bad art, art is art , however nowadays art that is not commercially viable is rather useless and artists who have nothing that defines their work and sets it apart in some way typically have no style of their own.(You could arguably say that about people who only learned to draw Disney figures for example)

    Edit: I should also correct what I say in that the Artist doesn't exactly chooses the style, its something that evolves because it is imbued in the core of the Artist's being.
    I know that some people try to develop style artificially (what you call stylized) but that is often something very forced.
    I disagree about the commercially viable part, but your opening statement is a nice summation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Why address any of it?
    I'm trying to figure out what I need to change about my "style".

    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    This thread is gonna really suck or totally deliver in perhaps the worst way possible.
    Oh, um... I'm sorry... Didn't mean to cause trouble. I'm trying to get this stuff defined so I know what mistakes to avoid.

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    I was referring to post #11.


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    And my advice to you is to stop worrying about abstract things that may be a problem in the future and concentrate on learning how to draw, especially from observation.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightandDark View Post
    No, I never said commerce defines art.
    Not all art is usable, some of it is just there for inspiration or self-serving purposes.

    If you want to define bad art, please do, I can't think of a clear objective definition for it since it is something subjective.
    I'll take a stab at it before the thread is locked . If art has a purpose (I think it does), then art that doesn't suit its purpose is bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cider View Post
    I'll take a stab at it before the thread is locked . If art has a purpose (I think it does), then art that doesn't suit its purpose is bad.
    Yeah that makes more sense actually.
    Still I don't know if its objectively true because someone else might see it serving another purpose.


    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I was referring to post #11.
    Now you did address all of it by insinuating that it is not worthy of discussion


    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    And my advice to you is to stop worrying about abstract things that may be a problem in the future and concentrate on learning how to draw, especially from observation.
    QFT

    Last edited by LightandDark; August 9th, 2012 at 12:10 AM.
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    I'm confused. It seems to me the OP is actually talking more about design? Especially with the cartoons being mentioned; there have been obvious intentional choices that were made. Everything in Pinocchio is extra thick. IIRC, Tarzan's props are all particularly fussy by making the proportions taller and thinner than actual real life objects. I don't know if just telling someone to draw more from observation (while always excellent advice!) is enough in this case?

    Does it depend on the context because all the objects/characters within the image are designed with the same 'rules' in mind?

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    The only thing I want to throw out there is. For cartoons and something like Adventure time take into account if they were a still image vs animated stories. Adventure Time if I saw a few still images I'd say "Ok that's neat, a bit cutesy" but it wouldn't have nearly the impact, and I highly doubt would become very popular. Same thing with even something as big as Legend of Korra or something where the drawings are actually pretty sweet. Would still be ok, but it's only truly great because of the story and how it's communicated in animation. You get to know the characters and then there's a sort of feeling attached to them.


    Eh I'm ranting. Just pointing out animation isn't quite the same as doing a still life or anything. You can have a bunch of people paint the same thing and every piece will turn out different. You get a studio of animators together they better be able to draw it all the same way based on the characters designs.

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    You don't force your art into a certain style. You learn your stuff and let it form naturally.
    Just had to say that, I see a lot of people on Deviantart trying to force it.

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    Style is your finite limitations as an artist.
    Can anyone elaborate on this rehearsed sounding line? by now 2 people already wrote that and to me personally it doesn't make much sense because an artist's limits are something that never really cease from evolving.

    Also I doubt artists with a style see it as limiting themselves or unable to draw in someone else's style if they really wanted to make the effort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Herring View Post
    I'm confused. It seems to me the OP is actually talking more about design? Especially with the cartoons being mentioned; there have been obvious intentional choices that were made. Everything in Pinocchio is extra thick. IIRC, Tarzan's props are all particularly fussy by making the proportions taller and thinner than actual real life objects. I don't know if just telling someone to draw more from observation (while always excellent advice!) is enough in this case?

    Does it depend on the context because all the objects/characters within the image are designed with the same 'rules' in mind?
    Well, usually when people are trying to ask this, they're trying to look for "Flash and Flare" and haven't drawn enough. I know the OP is talking about characters, but what happened to backgrounds? Animation does not involve "floating character in space" so there is just more than "how can I abstract and symbolize this character design".

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    Quote Originally Posted by LightandDark View Post
    No, I never said commerce defines art.
    Not all art is usable, some of it is just there for inspiration or self-serving purposes.

    If you want to define bad art, please do, I can't think of a clear objective definition for it since it is something subjective.
    You said art that is not commercially viable is useless. That is a heavy statement and one I believe is completely false. You exclude guys like Van Gogh from the art world all together.

    The idea about bad art goes back to the argument; is there good and bad art or only art and not art? In any case we return to; what is the definition of art? No thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice Herring View Post
    I'm confused. It seems to me the OP is actually talking more about design? Especially with the cartoons being mentioned; there have been obvious intentional choices that were made. Everything in Pinocchio is extra thick. IIRC, Tarzan's props are all particularly fussy by making the proportions taller and thinner than actual real life objects. I don't know if just telling someone to draw more from observation (while always excellent advice!) is enough in this case?

    Does it depend on the context because all the objects/characters within the image are designed with the same 'rules' in mind?
    Specifically, I'm referring to character design. Sorry for not being more specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    The only thing I want to throw out there is. For cartoons and something like Adventure time take into account if they were a still image vs animated stories. Adventure Time if I saw a few still images I'd say "Ok that's neat, a bit cutesy" but it wouldn't have nearly the impact, and I highly doubt would become very popular. Same thing with even something as big as Legend of Korra or something where the drawings are actually pretty sweet. Would still be ok, but it's only truly great because of the story and how it's communicated in animation. You get to know the characters and then there's a sort of feeling attached to them.


    Eh I'm ranting. Just pointing out animation isn't quite the same as doing a still life or anything. You can have a bunch of people paint the same thing and every piece will turn out different. You get a studio of animators together they better be able to draw it all the same way based on the characters designs.
    Nice sum-up! And I have to say, I have seen cartoons that don't follow that last part very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Medusa View Post
    You don't force your art into a certain style. You learn your stuff and let it form naturally.
    Just had to say that, I see a lot of people on Deviantart trying to force it.
    I do try my best to be inspired, but influence isn't all bad either. You can see how Mulan and Hercules (the Disney movies) took influence from their respective cultures, and Mario has always kept his proportions (non-mushroom) the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    Well, usually when people are trying to ask this, they're trying to look for "Flash and Flare" and haven't drawn enough. I know the OP is talking about characters, but what happened to backgrounds? Animation does not involve "floating character in space" so there is just more than "how can I abstract and symbolize this character design".
    Backgrounds are important too - heck, natural landscapes are some of my favorite things to paint. But most of the concern I've been seeing is over whether or not an artist's humans are drawn well - a frustrating conclusion, but that doesn't change the fact that people judge you by it.

    Last edited by devyni; August 9th, 2012 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Re-read that last part and realized I didn't really respond to the point Arshes Nei was making. Sorry!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    You said art that is not commercially viable is useless. That is a heavy statement and one I believe is completely false. You exclude guys like Van Gogh from the art world all together.

    The idea about bad art goes back to the argument; is there good and bad art or only art and not art? In any case we return to; what is the definition of art? No thanks.
    I don't know , I think the whole idea that Van Gogh's art is only good because he is dead is absurd and even upsetting, my previous employer at the print shop told me something like that and I had to bite my tongue. sure when he was alive his art was considered bad because I think the purpose and outlook on art was different then.
    Today I think some of his art is really good by its own right and definitely something that could sell.

    Again My point was not exclude anything ...I'm not the first guy to say 'bad art' on this thread and bad art is still art and there is a museum for bad art as well, the question is : what is bad art and who are we to decide ? from what I see art that no one really wants, that no one would be willing to buy is considered bad art?
    Personally on an intellectual level I believe bad art is something very subjective that each person decide for themselves: For example In my eyes Abstracts by Kandinsky and Mondrian are good and have value because they are inspiring and aesthetically interesting while abstracts composed of random paint splatters are meaningless and uninteresting.

    As far as the main topic , I think its yet another beginner question thread that can be answered with 'shut-up and draw' or 'go out there and draw' as Elwell already pointed out because style is something that emerges with practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LightandDark View Post
    I don't know , I think the whole idea that Van Gogh's art is only good because he is dead is absurd and even upsetting, my previous employer at the print shop told me something like that and I had to bite my tongue. sure when he was alive his art was considered bad because I think the purpose and outlook on art was different then.
    Today I think some of his art is really good by its own right and definitely something that could sell.

    Again My point was not exclude anything ...I'm not the first guy to say 'bad art' on this thread and bad art is still art and there is a museum for bad art as well, the question is : what is bad art and who are we to decide ? from what I see art that no one really wants, that no one would be willing to buy is considered bad art?
    Personally on an intellectual level I believe bad art is something very subjective that each person decide for themselves: For example In my eyes Abstracts by Kandinsky and Mondrian are good and have value because they are inspiring and aesthetically interesting while abstracts composed of random paint splatters are meaningless and uninteresting.

    As far as the main topic , I think its yet another beginner question thread that can be answered with 'shut-up and draw' or 'go out there and draw' as Elwell already pointed out because style is something that emerges with practice.
    The what is art thing doesn't matter. That will never be answered. I'm more concerned with the idea that all art that is not commercially viable is useless. You haven't addressed this yet. My example of Van Gogh was not about quality but that was never, in his day, commercially viable. Is it only useful now that we pay millions for it? Are all of the drawings and paintings I do that don't sell useless because they are not commercially viable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LightandDark View Post
    I don't know , I think the whole idea that Van Gogh's art is only good because he is dead is absurd and even upsetting, my previous employer at the print shop told me something like that and I had to bite my tongue. sure when he was alive his art was considered bad because I think the purpose and outlook on art was different then.
    Today I think some of his art is really good by its own right and definitely something that could sell.

    Again My point was not exclude anything ...I'm not the first guy to say 'bad art' on this thread and bad art is still art and there is a museum for bad art as well, the question is : what is bad art and who are we to decide ? from what I see art that no one really wants, that no one would be willing to buy is considered bad art?
    Personally on an intellectual level I believe bad art is something very subjective that each person decide for themselves: For example In my eyes Abstracts by Kandinsky and Mondrian are good and have value because they are inspiring and aesthetically interesting while abstracts composed of random paint splatters are meaningless and uninteresting.

    As far as the main topic , I think its yet another beginner question thread that can be answered with 'shut-up and draw' or 'go out there and draw' as Elwell already pointed out because style is something that emerges with practice.
    Is it that obvious that I'm a student? Sorry, this was kind of a sensitive topic to bring up. I'm trying to make sure I avoid the major pitfalls that people can fall into. In retrospect, I probably went about it in a far too generalized way. Art is relative - just interacting with people shows that. What I wanted to know, essentially, wasn't "what makes good art good and bad art bad", but "what about my stylizing is good and bad". I am sorry for any trouble caused because of my vagueness.

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SpringOfSea's Sketchbook