Someone nudge me into the right direction
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  1. #1
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    Post Someone nudge me into the right direction

    Hey everyone! Long time no post!

    I was just wondering if someone more experienced than me could give me a nudge in the right direction.

    As you might know (from my blog or sketchbook), I'm not exactly bad at drawing/painting. Anyway, I'll get to the point. This year we are required to identify gaps in our knowledge of whatever topic we're doing. It so happens that I decided to do illustration this year (4th year, honours) and identified some pretty huge holes in my skill.

    All my life I was pushing for character design and character drawing, but never actually concentrated on environments and vehicles. Therefore in the next few months I want to push these aspects and plug the holes in my knowledge.

    So how do you go about designing an interesting environment? Obviously the first step was to go out and draw from life. I have some trucks and buildings in my sketchbook now (not the one on here, but my personal sketchbook). But I was wondering if I could be pointed in the right direction more theory wise. Maybe there are some books I can look at? Gnomon DVDs? etc.

    Thanks for reading

    A.

    PS: I found some interesting tutorials online, 90% of them are speedpaints, which are pretty but have next to zero nutritional value.

    Blog - Check it out. It's fun.

    Sketchbook - I should really update more often.

    Portfolio - The most fun of them all.
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  2. #2
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    I'm just learning myself, but here's what I would suggest. First of all, I'd have to disagree with the idea that watching speedpaints isn't helpful. You can learn a lot about how other people build up structures and plan things out by watching. I'm not saying sit there for the 15+ minutes the video takes, but watch them get it started and skip to a couple parts and see what's happening. If there's something that makes you think "Oh, I wonder how they got that effect! A couple minutes ago it was just a blob." Rewind and learn.

    I checked out your sketchbook and it looks like you've started doing this, but I would draw from existing compositions. Go find some photographs with a pleasing composition and study from them. What makes them attractive?

    Secondly, sketching environments is a lot easier if you have the right brushes. I don't have a link handy for any of the brushes I use, unfortunately. But a simple google of "speedpaint brushes" will give you some good results. Take a look around the forums here. If you use Photoshop, I would check out the stickies in this one.

    I'd also take a look at the Daily Sketch Group and other community activities here. They will give you lots of practice and helpful feedback. Just make sure to comment on other's works as well!

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  3. #3
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    I think you are missing fundamentals, which is the same hole I was myself not 6 months ago. Unfortunately, the only real successful way I found for learning fundamentals is attending school. You can try tutorials, but tutorials don't teach you the discipline required to actually learn this stuff. If you can afford it, look for a school.

    My concept art blog

    Better lucky than good!
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  4. #4
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    Vak: I'm in 4th year Computer Arts (BAHons), unfortunately it's geared a lot towards 3D and we don't get a lot of formal tutition.
    Stroudle: Thanks for the pointers! I'll check these things out.

    Blog - Check it out. It's fun.

    Sketchbook - I should really update more often.

    Portfolio - The most fun of them all.
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  5. #5
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    One way I go about starting new environments would be by just doodling abstract shapes, and then building on those shapes. It doesn't work all the time, but if I just feel like drawing without a concept in mind it can help jump-start my imagination.

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