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  1. #1
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    Lydia's Quest for Artistic Competency!

    Hello! I'm Lydia, 18, and going to college to be a teacher. I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil, but only semi-seriously for about two years now. I've never taken an art class, so my fundamentals are probably really poor. I do hope to make it into the professional art field some day, but I don't know how feasible that is.

    I've been trolling the sketchbooks and other threads here on CA for a while now, but I've never made a post! Now I'm going to change that. I have seen some amazing critiques and improvement in others' sketchbooks, and I'd love to see the same in my own art!

    Right now, I'm hoping to improve:
    1. Anatomy
    2. Expression and emotions through body language
    3. Colors and values

    Also, there maybe be periodic artistic nudity. Justsoyouknow.

    And can anyone tell me how to add an icon to a post?

    __________________________________________________

    Newer image for Icon


    Name:  CA_Icon8.png
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Size:  130.7 KB
    Last edited by Lydiamay; June 12th, 2015 at 12:29 PM.


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  3. #2
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    Hi Welcome to CA. And bring in the art.

    And to add an icon go to Attachments.

  4. #3
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    Her are some of my drawings from the last year or so, to give you an idea of my current skill level. All of these were done digitally with a tablet.

    Some lineless, more realistic attempts:

    Name:  beauty_lies_within_the_eyes_by_lydiamay-d5ngukw.png
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    Name:  the_last_morning_by_lydiamay-d5nvchr.png
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    Name:  maiden_by_lydiamay-d5zqhg9.png
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    And here is a self-portrait I did as practice. It was done using a mirror in two sittings, late at night.

    Name:  self_portrait_by_lydiamay-d5uhpmx.png
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  5. #4
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    Cojac: Thank you!

    Here are some more of my works from the last year or so. These are in my more cartoon-y, disney-ish style. This is how most of my sketches and lined works look.

    Name:  anatomy_sketches_2_by_lydiamay-d59oee6.png
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    Name:  william_for_jackofalltrades0097_by_lydiamay-d6gxdsx.png
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    Name:  speedeh_trade_by_lydiamay-d60015d.png
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    Name:  new_dress_by_lydiamay-d68wkjw.png
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    Name:  character_by_lydiamay-d67kerf.png
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    Name:  hg_character_development_by_lydiamay-d6izv1l.png
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  6. #5
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    Hi Lydiamay, great work.

    I feel something about the eyes. In some of the portraits they are too big and too close. But I like you choice of colors and the smooth touch of the brush. My favorite piece is that one with eyes closed. The face is gorgeous. You have talent. Keep posting here.


    When I post something in your Sketchbook please return the favor visiting my Sketchbook also and tell me what you feel about my art. The link to My Sketchbook is in my signature. Thanks.

  7. #6
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    Cojac: I definitely agree, my eyes can get too big. And thanks!

    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________


    So, here are some quick doodles I made today while doing school work. They were all sketched in pen, so they're not super neat. I tried to use my own dogs as reference for the dog drawings, but they wouldn't sit still. So they're mostly sketched from memory. Then there was a picture of an owl in one of my textbooks, and they sort of took over!

    Name:  doodles_by_lydiamay-d6kxuuo.png
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Size:  944.1 KB

    And then, these are all from the last couple of weeks. I don't think I used any refs (minus my own hand for the hands), and the purple ones were all sketched in pen too.

    Lydia's Quest for Artistic Competency!

    Need to keep practicing!

  8. #7
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    Awesome paintings, keep up the good work!

  9. #8
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    Studies from yesterday and today, based on photos I found on http://www.hel-looks.com/ . Not much, but I've been busy with school.

    Name:  studies0905.png
Views: 2014
Size:  367.9 KB

  10. #9
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    Not much this time, super busy with school. I was trying to do another self portrait, but this is as far as I got. For some reason, photoshop has decided it is going to crash every time I open its file. ):

    Name:  SP090113.png
Views: 1845
Size:  241.9 KB

  11. #10
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    Hey there! In my thread, you commented that your colors were weak, but I actually love the handle you have over yours. I would suggest that the values could be pushed more, but at the same time, I LOVE the soft quality you have to them I think you have a style going on. You're an inspiration to me to keep up with art, although schooling won't allow for doing it as more than a hobby for now. You're so talented for being so young, as well. Your sketches are full of energy and personality. Keep up the great work!
    "Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail." -Emerson
    - deviantart - sketchbook -

  12. #11
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    Really liking the female portraits, you seem to fall in the trap of drawing the same type face tho, its muscle memory me thinks, i like
    your rendering and color, for years and even now me struggles with me colors lol not sure why, probably not enough practise still lifes
    anyhow, thanks for stopping by my sketchbook I appreciate the comment, also your drawings are great and paintings to post more!!!!

  13. #12
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    Hello there! You have some really great work in here so far. I really love the mood in your color works. They feel very rich and comforting but with a touch of delicate melancholy.

    I'm going to echo magicnmyth a bit here and say that your colors are very nice, but your values are lacking. It's possible that's actually the problem you're seeing with your color because you just can't get the right range of color if the values are off. The key problem is that you're only using a small section of the value range, specifically the lower half. The result of this is that your colors feel very saturated (because more saturation is possible in the middle of the value range than at the top or bottom), which is nice, but your images feel a bit flat and the subjects are blending into their surroundings. Consider making the subject a different average value than the background (ie a light figure on dark background, dark figure on light background, light figure surrounded by dark foreground shape against medium background, etc). You could also handle more form shadows to make the objects feel rounded.

    Also consider whether the edges of your objects should be soft or hard, depending on the material, if the plane is rounded, how close it is the viewer, and how it's lit. In particular I see that you tend to make the jaw or edge of the face very hard which flattens the form and makes it feel more like a flat plane (like a piece of paper) than a rounded plane curving away from us in space (like a sphere).

    I have for you here today not one, not two, but four little paint-overs! Okay the second one I just used auto-levels but I did do some painting on the first and last one. Hope that's helpful!

    Name:  Untitled-1.png
Views: 1814
Size:  882.4 KB

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  15. #13
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    You have some really love paintings. I can see a lot of potential though, so keep up the practice.
    At this rate you have a very good chance of going pro with your work!

  16. #14
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    Thank you all so much for your kind and helpful comments! I'm learning a lot already!

    Mr Tokoloshe: Thank you!
    magicnmyth: Thanks you! And yeah, after looking at yours and others' comments about my values, I can definitely see that I need to work on the range of my color values. Geez, you say so many nice things, I don't know what to say! But thank you, and I wish you luck as well!
    Adrian: Yes, I do believe I do have sameface-syndrome. Maybe I'll do some studies to practice some other face shapes and structures. You're welcome, and thank you as well!
    dierat: Wow, that is all very useful, thank you for taking the time to do it! I love how you explain the mood of my drawings too. And I can really see the value problem now. I'm going to remember to turn my paintings to B&W throughout the process to see if the values need to be adjusted. For some reason super dark and super light colors scare me! Also, I notice the jaw thing to on my people, but I'm not quite sure how to draw a proper jaw without that hard line. Still trying to figure that out. Thanks for all this advice! I'm going to try to apply it to the painting I'm working on right now.
    catghost: Thank you! Fingers crossed that with a lot of work I can!

    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    Okay, so to put to practice all this lovely advice, and my fabrics, I started a new painting! (And thanks to muddy and the google hangout group for the advice!) I've tried making the foreground the darkest point, the background the lightest and the figure at the mid-point, with the main light source coming from the window. I think I have all the composition and perspective things fixed at this point, but if you see anything I've missed, please let me know! I'm trying to decide which of the bottom two color moods I like more... Plus, I feel like I need something hanging in front of the window to break up all those structured lines, like a small curtain or some fotos hanging from a string.

    Name:  seppaintingWIP1.png
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    /Edit: here's another possible color scheme. (I hate this part!)
    Name:  seppaintintWIP2.png
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Size:  224.2 KB
    Last edited by Lydiamay; September 15th, 2013 at 04:03 PM.

  17. #15
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    I think you should do some more developed value versions before getting into your color palette. If the window is the lightest point it may act like a focal point and draw attention away from the figure. If it's a problem, you could dim the window like it's a rainy day outside and have an interior light source illuminating the figure (like an oil lamp, for example). But I think you should figure that out now so you don't have to fix it later if it is a problem.

    For the color palette, my advice is to do a bunch of quick variations. Just try stuff out. It's good practice and you might come up with a totally different selection that you like much better. Keep in mind that anomalous points will attract our attention - that is, if the image is mostly purple, small bright green points will jump out at us (like the pillows). Think about how you're going to highlight the focal point and also move our eyes around the image. It's like leaving a trail of visual breadcrumbs for us to eat up.

    I agree it could use something over the arch, maybe something hanging in the top left. I'm imagining a kind of string with ornaments hung from it and it attaches to the top of the arch and on the wall to the left off-screen. Just an idea.

    Maybe it's just me but I feel like she should be looking out the window. I keep thinking "what is she doing, she's not reading, she's not sleeping, what is she doing?" and I keep looking around the image for clues. If she were looking out the window, it would give her a wistful mood, like she wants to read but her mind keeps drifting to other things.

    P.S. Love the fabric so far

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