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  1. #1
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    I want to be an artist.

    Hi,
    A couple years back I took an art class. The drawing class gave us access to nudes and charcoal. It was eye-opening. I really loved the entire experience, but I ignored it, repressed my feelings and went on with my chosen major.

    Well, I guess you shouldn't ignore the voice inside of you. I have a lot of doubts about what I'm doing but I would very much like to be an artist. So I have started to draw in the past couple months. I am doing this sketchbook to hopefully get some advice from others about my work or how I should branch out.

    My biggest weakness is color. I don't know how to begin to learn color and photoshop overwhelms me. Can anyone give me tips on what brush settings they use?

    I've uploaded a small face sketch I did plus the page I'm working on in Bridgman's anatomy book.

    edit: I've uploaded a small female body pose I did w/o ref after taking a small break from Bridgman's. That's the extent of my knowledge of the body, warts and all.

    I also forgot to mention that I plan on simply uploading whatever I do, good or bad. I might skip scanning in anything I do on 11x14 paper, since that would require too much time. I want to put my heart and soul out there, and take this as seriously as anything I've ever done.

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    Last edited by tentativesteps; November 13th, 2012 at 07:41 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Hey, glad you decided to start a sketchbook, looks like you're off to a good start.

    Quote Originally Posted by tentativesteps View Post
    My biggest weakness is color. I don't know how to begin to learn color and photoshop overwhelms me.
    Like adding color, or choosing colors? Photoshop isn't really relevant to the latter.

    Quote Originally Posted by tentativesteps View Post
    Can anyone give me tips on what brush settings they use?
    I'm constantly flip-flopping between settings based on what I need done. Playing around with the settings of the round brushes should give you a good starting point. You have a graphics tablet right? If not, painting digitally is going to be a whole lot harder for you.

    Anyways, a good drawing foundation is useful no matter what tool you're using; I wouldn't worry so much about painting right now. Unless you want to try it, then by all means.

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  3. #3
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    I'd recommend leaving colour aside for now and painting in values only for a while - you can move on once you feel comfortable with that, but it helps not to be overwhelmed by having to learn too many things at once.

    I suppose you have a graphic tablet with a pressure-sensitive stylus, if you don't I'd leave Photoshop aside for now as well and stick to traditional media for practice - or else you're going to be fighting with your tools more than actually practising your drawing.

    Photoshop has many options, but you really don't need most of them for a beginning - you can practise with the hard round brush just fine - or, if you want to replicate the feeling of working with that charcoal, the PS chalk brushes are actually quite good. The only settings you really need to play with for now are size and opacity. And if you do decide to practise colour in Photoshop - stay away from using the colour picker in any reference picture you might use. You need to learn to *see* the colours yourself and pick them by hand.

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  4. #4
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    more. i've been trying to just draw figures from imagination every so often, although I think I've turned into a more mechanical 'copy-what-i-see' instead of trying to be creative. so when I try to be creative its all.. bleh.

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  5. #5
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    great that you decided to pursue your interest in art! you definitely got to kick up the amount of time you practice if you want to get serious though. your off to a nice start, would like to see more!

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    @Ambiguity

    choosing colors, adding color, whatever. I want to learn how to paint in an impressionistic manner like Craig Mullins, but the times I've tried I realize there might be a personality mismatch, a skill mismatch, and a basics mismatch, sooo

    @Olooriel

    I bought a tablet. Thanks for the advice, I've heard about using the color picker trap.

    @kevin_
    about to post what I've done so far today, I'm going to get back to bridgman when I put the next post up (in the next couple min)

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    some posemaniacs (only did 50 today), and some sketches from the mind, trying to be creative.. but it's hard to be creative without a mental library or when you're still struggling with the body :c. (or maybe I'm just bad, but its ok)

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    Really nice stuffs here!
    I like the posemaniacs drawing. Would like to see more stuffs

    (I quickly should make a sketchbook too)

    )
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    there's a benefit to doing anatomy studies, right? what mindset in particular should I hold when doing this? :c I'm willing to do whatever it is to get better, I just don't have direction.

    Anyways. More Bridgman, only 50 pages to go left in the dang book.

    @foxthirteen thanks for the support, I appreciate it.

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  10. #10
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    my other post died? not sure what's going on. here's anatomy, reattached.

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    Good studies! I like your imagined figures as well! Keep it up and maybe show us some color work, eh?

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    nice bridgeman studies keep it up :=)

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    @lemming-clone- I'd like to do color, but I don't really know where to start. I havent really done many still lifes. I might try to set up something small so I can do still lifes on PS.

    @tj0ri thanks, will do.

    Here are 60 1minute poses from posemaniacs. This is the first time I'm doing them on PS, and it was kind of frustrating, but I think I did get better near the end.

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    here's a shitty head. really not happy with it. i'm going to need to practice this some more. next update will be more anatomy later.

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    I'm guessing everyone knows Craig Mullins. Well I really enjoy the way he plays with value and suggestive marks, so sometimes I'll try to do a quick grayscale sketch of something he's done (that is super rough). So the big mass of black in the middle of the first picture is just my little Craig Mullins-feeling thingie, just because I like Craig. The rest is just me scrawling.

    And of course.. more anatomy studies. I feel like I understand the knee better, but who on god's green earth made it so dang complicated.

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  16. #16
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    i paint like a third grader. i guess i need to start doing studies of photos or objects or whatever. my sense of light is really bad. i also feel clumsy in photoshop. i've painted in ps before, maybe one or two color objects, but its been a long while. anyways here it is, warts and all.. took me more time than i can honestly say, because its just embarassing.

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    more low quality artwork for your viewing pleasure. self portrait, some still lifes, some copies from another sketchbook, some stuff from the brain, and anatomy.

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    so i've been chipping away at the photoshop, here's some b and w i guess as well. no anatomy though, havent really felt like it, i feel like i need to refocus on the simpler things like heads or something. i wish i had some of those casts or w/e. i'd gladly sit my ass down and do a 10, 20 hour drawing over the course of a week trying to get it right.

    i have to say though, i feel like i learned a lot with this ps session. i spent a lot of time on this, and here's what i learned

    1. a strong under-drawing or base drawing placing the features saves you a lot of grief (i didnt do this)
    2. colors are relative
    3. i know nothing about what colors humans are actually composed of. this woman here is not supposed to be any ethnicity, i just the colors up as i went along
    4. use broad strokes to place the planes on the head. this will save you a lot of grief instead of fiddling around like an idiot.
    5. i still cant place eyes properly. i need to do more portraits. does anyone know a good website where i can get portraits? not pixelovely or w/e that website is. those heads have no contrast and are terrible. I wish there was a website that had good portrait head setups.
    6. id ont know where else im going with this. i think i might go churn out some more b and w pictures or fiddle around in ps

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  19. #19
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    I'm really digging the amount of work you're putting in. Keep up the good studies!

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  20. #20
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    great studies those bridgemans and gestures really kickstarted your progress NEVER stop doing those even if its just 5-15 minutes of gestures its always a good way to warm up and get the good ol brain going, you got very good pencil work, id love to comment ont he digital stuff but im in the same page as you are at digital i know jack haha.

    i am studying off a page that teaches dig painting for free its called http://www.ctrlpaint.com/ i seriously recommend you to check it out if you havent already its a great way to start and offers amazing advice.

    well those are my two cents you have decent ability i would just love to see what you can do with it cant wait until you do some original stuff, good luck!

    my sketchbook! Drawing like a maniac!!

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  21. #21
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    i suck at these, i really do

    its so discouraging spending 3-4-5 hours on a portrait and not even getting a good likeness. and i still cant pick out human skin colors. is there some way to learn this stuff that im missing? is the only way to learn colors like this by just doing studies til you drop?

    :c

    oh well

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  22. #22
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    more.

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  23. #23
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    i give up.

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    not feeling good about how im progressing, where im going, what im doing, or having any idea of what im doing or where im going. here's somes tuff i did this morning + yesterday. decided to try to be more render-y since i've been skipping on that recently.

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  25. #25
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    Hey you are doing a ton of things at once which is great. Studying Bridgman is also a great idea but I don't see you applying any of that anatomy knowledge to your figures. Try to use all the knowledge that you have about anatomy, even when doing quick gestures.

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    I think you are doing really well! In addition to Bridgman etc., draw from life are much as you can, this is the quickest way to really learn to observe. Pictures are just not the same. And don't worry about color yet. Focus on observing value and getting your drawings right proportionally. Squinting helps for seeing value correctly, so you don't get distracted by details!

    You have to work through any discouraging thoughts and doubts that make you want to give up. They are not important if you want to progress. Like Vincent van Gogh said: "If you hear a voice within you saying, ''You are not a painter,'' then by all means paint… and that voice will be silenced."

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  27. #27
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    I think people get discouraged when they think in longterm progress. Try micro-progression. Micro-progress is where you do at least one thing better than you did last time, and it has to be small. Example: Let's say you paint a portrait and it comes out ok, but the nose doesn't quite feel right. Do your studies, look at some more references, and then when you go back to do another portrait, the rest of it can be complete shit but make sure you make some improvement than what you did last time. Maybe the color is still off, but the shape is better and the shadows make more sense. Find the little things and focus on improving them if you find yourself getting discouraged with your lack of progress.

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  28. #28
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    another rollback :s well I'll just reupdate

    Can anyone provide me advice regarding just drawing more natural looking characters? I tend to have a lot of difficulty not drawing someone who looks static or stiff. I think I might need to branch out into animation in order to learn this.. I'm not quite sure. Maybe its a personality flaw? It's a pretty big one, if that's my problem :/. Also, I'm sorry about the huge pictures everywhere. I've uploaded these from imgur, and I didnt know what size they were. I'll try to reduce the image sizes from now on.

    I thought I'd post my earliest gesture drawings done almost exactly a year ago, no particular time limit I think, and they're really, really bad ..haha:
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    Some studies:
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    Self portrait:
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    Random stuff:
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    Last edited by tentativesteps; June 30th, 2013 at 04:38 AM.
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  29. #29
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    Your stuff is really improving steadily, I like the increase in full body studies in the newer stuff. the last few colour pieces are particularly nice, and the last page of pencils in post 23.
    I really like to carry a SB around and sketch on the street, or on my commute, I highly recommend it.
    I do think some of your attachments are a bit too large. It's easier to browse when the drawing all fits on one page.

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  30. #30
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    Hello. Thanks for stalking my SB.

    All right, you asked for advice. I'm not much for advice on figures, since technically I've been studying them for only about half as long as you have. One piece of advice I DO feel confident giving you is to relax a little. Don't worry so much. On the one hand, the incessant self-criticism is very useful in helping you ID things you need to work on, but on the other, past a certain point you're just beating yourself up needlessly, and risking making yourself feel bad enough that you'll quit, which you obviously don't want. (In reality, I crit myself mercilessly too, I guess I just don't vocalize it as often, hah.)

    Anyway, your progress is nuts. Honestly, you're not that far away from where I am, figure-wise. The bad news is, I'm not that great at figures myself. Most of the figures from imagination that I post are pretty basic, and they're also the random ~10% that happen to come out decent, out of dumb luck. I generate loads of utter crap that I don't post, believe me (maybe I'll throw some into an update soon). Re: construction ... I rarely go w/out it. It's very loose construction most of the time, but it's there. I should be using the exact construction methods I'm learning from Michael Hampton's figure book, which I'm still going through, but I'm a rebel or whatever. Apparently you're supposed to work from hardcore construction when you're starting out, and take it seriously, until you're skilled enough to start simplifying the construction to light squiggles ... or something. For figures, I think the process is: 1) loose gesture (to get proportions down and maybe help ward off stiffness?), 2) construction, 3) detail on top. Random tidbit: I've noticed that if I do a bunch of figure studies based on photos/life using the construction methods I'm learning from Hampton, and then immediately go into drawing some poses from imagination, there's an afterglow from the life studies that make the imaginative figures a little better for a short time. (Although I'll inevitably repeat some part of a pose from one of the earlier reference shots.) Anyway, the human figure is very complex, and there's a massive amount of information to remember, which is why it takes years to get halfway good at drawing it from imagination. It's why art schools have their students take life drawing every single semester (or so I've heard). Learn to enjoy the grind, I guess, because you'll be doing it for quite a while. And trust the process, I guess. Plenty of people have been where you are, and plenty have built up epic skills over time. Wish I had more help to give, but again, I'm just starting out on figures.

    Re: style / influences / variety. Hmm. Not sure what to recommend. The variety of stuff I did earlier was just random directionless experimentation, not really hero worship. But it does help immensely to have heroes. Do you have a bunch of pro artists you look up to already (I think you mentioned Craig Mullins earlier). Can you describe to yourself what you like about them? What they have or what they do that others don't? Focus on those qualities. Try to figure out how they accomplished them. Try your hand at aping those in your own experiments.

    BTW, your painting ability is already pretty great. This impressionistic thing is amazing. (See, I'm guessing that's influenced stylistically by someone you look up to?) I know jack all about painting myself, haven't really studied it yet.

    Your work from observation in general is also improving VERY fast. (I think I saw a post here earlier saying you were at an atelier or something?)

    Keep it up. Also, I second Rhubix's suggestion to shrink your images, haha.

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