Sketchbook: diamandis's betchskook (minor update: Sat, Jan 4) - Page 2
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  1. #31
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    Apparently I'm in a portrait mood. Five minute sketches. These always seem like they're really good right as I'm drawing them, then I finish and go ... oh. But decent! For most of these, I tried doing a rough outline of the head first, then going in and doing the features. Also, you'd think glasses on the model would help you w/ positioning/spacing, but they just get in the way, IMO.

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  2. #32
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    Hey man, read about you gave up on drawing and finally picked up later on in life, i went thro same thing, i started very young but stopped at age 7 due to stupid reason, but the burning passion for drawing and painting came back to me at age 21 and i never looked back, you also asked me the secret to improvement, just endless hours trying to make more sense of things an understand why things work,appear to be the way they are and try to bent and twist everything i possibly can, i always like to try new things, for instance, when i do illustrations i always try a colour palette i never really worked with before, always keeps me on egde , keep pushing hard and things will work out,among the most badass illustrators started at age 30 aswell , dont know if you seen this work before http://cryptcrawler./images/

    take care man and until next time

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamandis View Post
    Do concept artists have full-time jobs? I'm guessing some do, so I'm considering that as an option. I think animators / storyboarders do too? I'm not sure if being practical about this is the best way forward, because I'm not feeling loads of passion for animation / concepting. But you never know. I might be awesome at it. I've never even really tried concepting, aside from the spider-things I posted above, which I tried out of the blue last week. Sometimes you surprise yourself.
    I'm an animator - we kiinda have full time jobs. Animation work is on a contract basis. I usually get 6 month contracts, but my current one has been extended to 10 months because I'm doing some department hopping. That's one thing you can consider, you don't need to be a storyboarder or an animator or a designer. If you can do all three, do all three.
    There are tonnes of departments in the animation pipeline, designers - you have bacground guys, character guys, prop guys or people who do all 3. You have the guys that design the backgrounds, the guys who re draw all the angles of the backgrounds, the painters. Then you have breakers, FX design, compositors, animators - and that's just 2D - 3D has matte painters, modelers, texture guys, lighting guys.
    I know plenty of people who do illustration freelance and hold day jobs as layout and background painters, designers or board artists.

    At one job I did character clean up & rotations, prop design, fx animation, character animation, breaking, and I was tech support. My next job was FX and compositing, now it's breaking, animation, and teaching.

    If I were you I'd stop worrying about choosing- because you really don't have to. A generalist is a great asset, especially to smaller companies (which are way more fun!). I find jobs much easier than my specialist friends- and my contracts are longer because I hop departments.

    Look at the jobs in your area and see who's hiring juniors in what ever field you think you're capable of doing.
    Happy sketching

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  6. #34
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    snatti: OMG IT'S SNATTI!
    Thanks for dropping by. I'll keep working at it. Your link wasn't working, but maybe this is what you meant: http://cryptcrawler.deviantart.com/gallery/

    No, I've never seen that, but the dude is super-pro. Wow. It's inspiring that this dude started at my age. Pretty dope.

    Rhubix: aw. So no health benefits or job security or any of that as an animator? Nuts. I didn't know that about 2D animators, but I knew it was true about 3D animators for movies. They work you raw and then you're out on your ass when the project's done. I've heard videogames are better: you're actually a salaried employee, most of the time, if you're a 3D modeler. I wonder if the same thing applies for concept artists. Obviously they contract out sometimes, but I wonder if there are full-time people there too.

    Anyway, yeah, I'm not totally stressing the direction thing much now. I'll study fundamentals and feel it out as time passes. I've definitely wanted to do various aspects of animation at different points in my life. Initially I wanted to be an animator/in-betweener, but I decided that seemed hella tedious. I wanted to be a background artist at various points too. It's cool to know if I ever decide to go that direction I can hop around. Also wow @ you thinking I might have a shot at a junior position already, haha. Unfortunately I don't live in an area where there's any opportunity for that, but I could always move. But I think I need tons more practice anyway. I'm not happy with my abilities at all yet. I'll keep at it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. #35
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    You and i share the "early mid life crisis" i'm pushing 34 now, and i'm seriously back to painting afew months back after a hiatus for years. Dont be discouraged, keep at it, you sure shouldn't have lost your touch, as evident from your sketches, they are far from beginner skills, I LIKE THEM.


    I'll watch your progress, just keep sketching please!

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  9. #36
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    Uh, ok. I'm apparently still in a portrait mood a day later. Another pass at drawing this pic of model Anais Pouliot. Close. Better than the one on the first page of this thread.

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    I did another one right before, but it seemed way off. Her eyes are too far apart, and the angle of her cheek -> chin on the right hand side seems wrong. But her lips came out more accurate in this one, and her hair:

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    I'd love it if I could pick out the mistakes BEFORE I've shaded, haha.

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  10. #37
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    Trying gestures by drawing with my elbow/shoulder instead of my wrist. Huh. Maybe there's something to this. Or I'm magically better a day later. 1 min.

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    (Not actually on blackboard. Just figured it looked more interesting than boring old gray on white. )

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  11. #38
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    I gotta say, I'm warming up to using my elbow/shoulder to draw, instead of my wrist. I tried some 3-minute portraits, and I'm pretty impressed by the lines. It almost feels like a completely different person drawing. They ended up looking like animator sketches. Holy crap!

    The confidence of the lines lends a completely different feel to these, when compared to the sketchier ones at the top of this page. And even though it seems like I lose some fine control using my elbow/shoulder over my wrist, the results are really cool.

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  12. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamandis View Post
    snatti:
    Rhubix: aw. So no health benefits or job security or any of that as an animator? Nuts. I didn't know that about 2D animators, but I knew it was true about 3D animators for movies. They work you raw and then you're out on your ass when the project's done. I've heard videogames are better: you're actually a salaried employee, most of the time, if you're a 3D modeler. I wonder if the same thing applies for concept artists. Obviously they contract out sometimes, but I wonder if there are full-time people there too.
    I live in Canada- so I have free healthcare and benefits aren't as crucial for me. Bonus- my husband has dental .
    I do get paid a salary most of the time, and I've never felt like I was worked raw. Occasionally I've had to work an extra long week but I did that at my old job at a screen printing shop too. Most of the time I pull a 40-45 hour week. Some studios have benifits, others don't. All the studios I've worked at have invited me back for more work - I left the first because they finished a 4 year project- the next because they had a 3 month hiatus and that sounded boring - I found another studio that was hiring right away. I work with people who have been at the same studio for 5 years or more, and many people I've worked with just bounce around between 2-3 studios depending on who has work at the time.
    It's not 'steady' work as people traditionally see it. But after a few years, if your a good worker people will let you know where the work is.

    Undiluted truth- if you want a guaranteed solid, steady salary, with good benefits and stability - you don't want an art career at all. You want a necessary service job like nursing or plumbing. Art is a luxury industry- when there's money there's jobs, in a recession arts are the first thing to get hacked off the budget board.
    At the end of the day, I do this job because I can't imagine not doing it. I love animation and I love drawing a lot more than I would love a big-ass house, or a fancy car. The other day I had to draw two guys getting flushed down a toilet then they gave me money - it's brilliant!

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  14. #40
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    Rhubix: Hmm. You're making me consider going into animation a little more. I can't believe you only do a 40-45 hr week. I would've figured animators regularly pulled long nights and weekends. Maybe it varies from studio to studio, but it sounds like you've got experience with a handful of them, so hey. Also, from your earlier post, I see that there's tons of different jobs an artist working for a studio can rotate among, which might be cool for me because I tend to get bored easily. Although I like drawing overall, my focus / style / whatever jumps around a lot.

    Out of curiosity, did you go to school for this or are you self-taught? I'm wondering how the hell someone would teach themselves 2D animation. I'm sure the means are out there, though, on the internets. This is the future and all.

    And re: art being an unstable career. Oh yeah, I'm definitely aware. I mean, my default goal for now is to be a freelance illustrator. Animation, by comparison, even w/out health insurance and w/ it being contract, seems WAY more stable.

    Anyway, thanks for the info again. Appreciate it.

    ---------

    Spent some time doodling at work.

    I couldn't figure out what to do with her entire left arm + hand, so it turned into hamburger. Her right arm is mighty strange too.

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    I made the table stand too short, which made it awkward to try to fit in her legs. Aw damn, I just remembered I meant to put a second identical guard behind her, along with something in the immediate foreground ... whoever she's talking to. A big silhouette of an arm or something, off to the side. Oh well! I'll be starting on Bridgman and Loomis soon. I'm way excited. These sorts of things will start turning out better.

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  15. #41
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    More 3-minute head sketches. It's fun trying to abstract certain areas into simple shapes, when the chance arises. I like these a lot, I'm realizing. At least, when they come out good (about half are duds, which I'm not showing here).

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    Last edited by diamandis; January 22nd, 2013 at 01:49 AM.
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  16. #42
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    You have really caught fire with this whole portrait thing. When I started doing caricatures the best thing I found was to get a "Teen Beat" style magazine. There are a ton of frontal head shots of very recognizable people. It was really helpful because you could work on your skills of making a likeness separate from concerns like exaggerated expression and perspective. I love your most recent sketches, Trying to get a likeness in as few marks as possible will really help you learn what attributes are necessary for recognition. Also I think that your edit to that portrait I did the paint over of was a HUGE improvement. Awesome work.

    Concerning career goals I need to disagree with Rhubix. His description is of how the film industry works. There is much more stability in the Video games industry. All positions are full-time salaried with benefits. I am a father of 2 and have never had any trouble supporting my family ... just don't work for THQ... shudder.

    For Science- Sketchbook!
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  18. #43
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    These quick portraits are coming along nicely, I like the way you're simplifying shapes in the last batch too. I don't know to what extent you're thinking in terms of construction, but your portraits could probably do with a bit more facial structure, especially the eyes which appear quite flat and 'pasted on'. The vectors in the first post are crazy awesome, btw.

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  20. #44
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    ForScience: I dunno why I'm stuck on portraits all of a sudden. I just think they're an interesting challenge, and faces show up everywhere in our work, so I figure what the hell, won't hurt to practice. Thanks again for those tips you gave me. It's funny, now that I've been messing around w/ portraits, I'm noticing other people's facial features more, as if I'm seeing them for the first time. Especially the eyes. I was in a meeting today at work, and I could barely pay attention to what was being said because I kept looking around at everyone's eyes / eyebrows / noses / angles, etc, and going, "My god, everyone has beautiful eyes." The eye area is all of a sudden, like, alive and enhanced when I'm looking at other people. It's freaking me out a little.

    And yeah, I was pretty sure I'd heard that video game jobs are relatively stable, salaried, etc. I wanted to do 3D modeling years ago, and I found that out while doing research on the industry. The film industry sounds awful, by comparison. Of course, I'm worried about what's going to happen videogames this coming generation with the mobile games disruption in full force. :/

    Kvetch: thanks for the crit, I definitely need it. It's always an honor getting feedback from more pro people. Construction is near the top of my list of things I need to learn, although I figured that was used mostly when drawing from imagination, less so when drawing from life/reference? I dunno. From life, I'll sometimes draw out the contour of the head, and then a cross for the eyes and nose, but beyond that nothing much. Or are you just saying I need to be thinking about underlying 3D forms when drawing features on? That's another thing I need to work on: lots of things I draw look flat. I hate that. I really want to learn to depict form and heft believably. I know it's not just a matter of shading (which I don't know much about either). Are there any sketches above where certain things look particularly flat? Are you talking about the quick cartoony 3-minute things or the longer ones near the top of the page?

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  21. #45
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    Nice work! You can get pro if you set your mind to it. With your current skills, you are way beyond what you think in that regards, especially drawing, keep up drawing, everything else is attainable with a little practice if you can understand drawing, which takes a lot of practice. Even in that little thing of drawing with your elbow and shoulder, your lines are starting to look pleasing and fun, just keep it going!!

    In the most basic sense, to be pro, make a portfolio of 10 of the types of images you'd like to be paid to do, then make sure people who use that kind of work see your stuff, and make sure your stuff is on level with what they publish,need whatever.

    check out http://theartorder.com/ (it's an art director for magic cards's art blog), he's written some great posts on how to be a freelance pro in any commercial art industry if you search through blog posts. Soak up all the knowledge you can and ask people for help and advice, there are so many avenues to find out what it is you need to be doing.

    It's up to you to decide your career, I say choose what you most enjoy drawing, and find out what that is by doing lots of drawing.

    The games industry sucks and people are laid off all the time, but I'm just bitter. Go freelance!! Keep studying and drawing, you're really not far off from getting paid for your work, and the sooner you hone a portfolio the sooner you'll start getting paid. It's all about how well you draw, and you've got a great start, and those fundamentals are available to learn if you make the effort. So what if you're 29, soon you'll be 70, who cares, you don't have kids right...

    Can't wait to watch the progress that's going to go down in this thread this year!

    Last edited by fersteger2; January 23rd, 2013 at 01:07 AM. Reason: no reason
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  23. #46
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    holy hell, the work on your site is insane AAAAAAAAAAHHH

    A bunch of you talented-ass people are telling me I might have a shot at getting good. Crazy. I worry that the minute I start believing it is the minute I get lazy. But I'll keep at it.

    Anyway, yup, I've heard before that you should put the type of work in your portfolio that you intend to keep on doing, rather than stuffing it with random crap. I definitely don't want to spend my time working on commissions in a style I don't even like, with no time to hone the kind of stuff I do want to do (whatever that ends up being). I'll check out that site, thanks for the link. I think I'm a few years of practice away from making money with this. Unless I do something insane like quit my job and spend 20 hours a day drilling fundamentals and experimenting with personal pieces. Not sure I'm comfortable doing that. I ain't getting any younger, though (and no, I don't have kids).

    And yep, I just recently realized that I really should focus on drawing. I can learn painting anytime. But no amount of painting is going to save a drawing that was crappy to begin with. I'd love to go to school for this, but I really don't want the mountain of debt. And from the talk around here, it seems like a lot of people teach themselves most of what they know anyway.

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    Concerning games, I just went from Vigil Games working on a AAA console title to working at Riot Games on a free-to-play pc game. The game I am working on right now is easily the most popular game in the world right now. Games are definitely evolving, but the need for artists is not decreasing, it is growing rapidly. Also you do not need to know 3D in order to work in games. My wife Is a concept artist at Riot games and does no 3D work. http://virginiacritchfield.blogspot.com/

    For Science- Sketchbook!
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  26. #48
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    I like what's going on here I like your creativity on the first page, and there's a certain nice flow to your style/lines, keep it up !

    sketchbook
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    "[...]as we gain facility of hand and travel further afield, we discover that we have a key to unlock the wonders of art and nature, a method of conjuring up forms at will: a sensitive language capable of recording and revealing impressions and beauties of form and structure hidden from the careless eye[...]"
    -Walter Crane, 'Line & Form'
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  28. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by diamandis View Post
    Rhubix: Hmm. You're making me consider going into animation a little more. I can't believe you only do a 40-45 hr week. I would've figured animators regularly pulled long nights and weekends. Maybe it varies from studio to studio, but it sounds like you've got experience with a handful of them, so hey. Also, from your earlier post, I see that there's tons of different jobs an artist working for a studio can rotate among, which might be cool for me because I tend to get bored easily. Although I like drawing overall, my focus / style / whatever jumps around a lot.

    Out of curiosity, did you go to school for this or are you self-taught? I'm wondering how the hell someone would teach themselves 2D animation. I'm sure the means are out there, though, on the internets. This is the future and all.

    And re: art being an unstable career. Oh yeah, I'm definitely aware. I mean, my default goal for now is to be a freelance illustrator. Animation, by comparison, even w/out health insurance and w/ it being contract, seems WAY more stable.

    Anyway, thanks for the info again. Appreciate it.
    I went to college MTM and I work with people that have a wide variety of educational experience.
    I certainly think it's possible to learn animation without going to college, but I'm not very good at teaching myself things.
    Part of the challenge is learning the softwares - for 2D Adobe Flash and Toonboom Harmony are the big ones- for 3D - Maya and 3D studio max are the biggest ones.
    I'm a Harmony generalist, so that's my cup of tea. I find it has the best drawing tools, and diversity for animation. If you want to open a lot of freelance doors, Flash is great. More studios use it, plus web developers, and indi-game companies.
    Flash shows: Max and Ruby, Dexter's Laboratory, Atomic Betty, Ugly Americans
    Harmony shows : Ruby gloom, sixteen, Sidekick, Detentionare, Kim Possible

    As for hours - most studios give you a quota if you're doing animation. 40-50 seconds a week is pretty standard. If you're slow, you stay later.
    Right now I'm working as a breaker (the person who turns the designs into animatible puppets- most tv shows are part cut out- part hand drawn). I get a list of stuff to get done for the week. If I were slow I'd have to stay late - but it takes me about 2 days to do the weeks work so I usually pick up animation when I'm ahead of schedule.
    I know lots of people who work from home- some worked 20 hour days, others spend half the day watching soaps. As long as you get your quota done- you're good.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForScience View Post
    Concerning career goals I need to disagree with Rhubix. His description is of how the film industry works. There is much more stability in the Video games industry. All positions are full-time salaried with benefits. I am a father of 2 and have never had any trouble supporting my family ... just don't work for THQ... shudder.
    *she
    I only speak from my geographic location and life experience. I work in television - not film.
    Maybe in Texas there's tonnes of gaming work. Around here there's not much at all, so the job opportunities are fewer and the competition is much much steeper. Also, most of the work is flash stuff or handheld and they want you to know a bit of programming. I only know 4 bigger studios around here, 3 do DS games, mobile games, or gems like ICarly2. So if by gaming you mean Farmville knockoffs and "I can't believe it's not bejeweled!" - there's a bit of that stuff kicking around.
    On the other hand I know of about 33 television series in the area, because we've got big guns like Nelvana, 9 Story in the city.

    If you don't want to move, research your area. Opportunities and wages are different everywhere. If you live in Dubois Wyoming, your probably going to have a hard time at it.

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    Hey, that last set of gestures is great - and yeah, drawing that way might help you loosen up, so it could be helping. ("Magically better" is also viable, just go with it. =D)

    I like what you're doing with those heads. I'm really drawn to the second one in the latest group; it's got a great balance of structural solidity and expressiveness, nice balance of straights and curves... just really nice. The one thing that seems to be off in a few of them are the position of features when the head is tilted up. Obviously you're stylizing, so it doesn't have to be spot on, but in the last one in the latest group, the tilt isn't very clear. His features just look oddly spread out - the nose/mouth are too far from the eyes, and too close to the chin. Same with the last one in the previous group.

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  32. #51
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    Rhubix: Toon Boom Harmony looks crazy. It's a mix of Illustrator, Flash, and 3D programs (is "breaking" the 2D equivalent of 3D's "rigging"?). Is this what most 2D cartoons are made with nowadays? Paper sketches and cels aren't used anymore? (I'll do some research on my own after I post.) I knew a little bit of Flash way back in the day. Shouldn't be hard to pick up again, if I have to. It's funny it still has a lease on life. Do you do your share of 3D work too? I've picked up a tiny amount of 3ds, Maya, and Blender in the past.

    I'm assuming there's animation studios near Los Angeles and Southern California in general? That's not too far away from me.

    Rev: Most of the stylizing on those portraits isn't intentional, it's just a consequence of the time limit (3 mins), and my going for fast, loose strokes. And yup, I noticed I was putting the noses too far down on those tilted-up faces, both times. If it were a longer drawing it would've come out fine, but my internal model of how a face is supposed to be laid out must've overridden what my eyes saw in these cases. It's funny, even after you learn to draw without relying on your internal symbols, they still pop up under certain conditions.

    --------

    I think I'll start doing batch updates, grouping stuff together from a couple days' work.

    Random thing. I drew the cape, then the arms coming out of the cape, then realized, "Wait, he's not Santa Claus. That cape's supposed to be around his shoulders only."

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    Messing around w/ an ink set a bought a while ago. I keep telling myself I need to learn technique. Soon. Soon.

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    I was like, I'm going to do an epic illo with lots of horses. Then I started and realized I can't draw human bodies, so I can't draw the riders. Also, don't know what horses look like.

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    ... so it was time for some horse gestures! OMG PONIES. 1 minute or less.

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    And finally, one last portrait gesture set. I'll probably stop posting these.

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  33. #52
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    someone once told me "practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect" which is to say, try to learn something new with each drawing, while applying everything you learned before.

    For Science- Sketchbook!
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    Nice sketches man! I hope you finish the horse illo. Maybe do some longer study of horses and riders, what they wear, etc. if you want to finish it? To add to what ForScience said, be wary of getting caught up in your comfort zone. I think this article elaborates on it quite well. I know you're going to be amazing some day, so just keep pushing yourself! =)

    As for the resource I used to study that bag, it was a section from the Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators book. You should definitely look through it. The Overlapping circle exercises were from Vilppu.

    Last edited by eroquii; January 27th, 2013 at 06:00 PM.
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  35. #54
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    ForScience: I still haven't really dug into the fundamentals yet, but I feel like I'm learning from what little things I'm doing here and there. Anatomy / construction are looming. Will get to them soonish.

    eroquii: Hilarious you mention Force, because I was considering buying the book, and I emailed the author on Friday to ask if there's any difference between buying the book and just subscribing to his website (http://www.drawingforce.com/), but all he said was it depended on whether I like books or video better (meaning the two are the same otherwise?). Do you like the book? I definitely want to do one or the other.

    I also bought Bridgman's big book, started flipping through it, and went WTF is this? Then I read online that's it's not really for people who don't know anatomy or basic construction yet. So I'm like, great, I need to buy more books. Not that I mind. I'm considering Michael Hampton's Figure Drawing and Glenn Vilppu's Drawing Manual. I wonder if I also need a separate anatomy book ...

    Thanks for that article. Holy crap it's long. I started it, looks promising, I'll finish in a bit.

    -----

    Felt like exploring animation this weekend. I'm sad that cel animation seems to be all but dead, but kinda interested in the newer ways of creating 2D TV cartoons digitally. I haven't looked into it much yet. I spent time looking at a couple animation / illustration curricula online, taking note of what classes were required so that I had an idea of what I needed to teach myself. I'd love to go back to school, but I don't miss the debt at all.

    Random thing. I think I had good lines before, but they're improving:

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    No, seriously, I need to learn anatomy / construction. There's something circus sideshow-y about her:

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    Horsey!

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    He's not dead, just drunk and awkwardly drawn:

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    Playing around with trying to draw the same character, squishing and stretching, different faces. I ... think I have a knack for this?

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    Misc:

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    Last edited by diamandis; January 27th, 2013 at 06:19 PM.
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    oh my. I'm really loving what I see here. :0 I think if you were to decide to explore animation more, it would be a good fit style-wise. But it's good that you're exploring all your options, just keep up the awesome work! I'll be back here for sure.

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  38. #56
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    Nice updates! So after doing those horse studies, do you feel like trying that drawing of many horses and riders yet?

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  40. #57
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    ^ I wasn't planning on trying it anytime soon, but what the hell ... challenge accepted. Early progress:

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    Detail:

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    Last edited by diamandis; February 2nd, 2013 at 09:49 PM.
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    Hey bud! Thank you so much as always for dropping by my sketchbook and giving me some encouraging words. =) I'm glad you're challenging yourself and continuing the horse piece. I'm liking where it's going!

    Sketchbook -- Any feedback helps!
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    Progress. This ain't bad, if I say so myself. I don't know what to do with the color. Maybe I'll move this over the to the WIP board soon.

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    I really like the energy and the enigmatic quality of your horse image. I have some compositional suggestions for you. I am being a little picky just because I know how aggressive your goals are.

    Your focal point is in the dead center of your composition. If she was in a third, her position would compliment the energy of the rest of the image. The background male figure is too large considering he is pushed further back in space. He is cropped in such a way that he feels like he is behind his horse, not riding one. His head is so close to the top of the frame, it is starting to create an awkward tangent.

    I love how bold this piece is, best of luck.

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