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Thread: Need help to change drawing style.

  1. #1
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    Need help to change drawing style.

    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently working on a project that require me to finish in art style that not in what I usually do, please see below picture:

    Need help to change drawing style.

    As you can see, I currently not able to draw without visible line around objects. If I remove them, I lost my vision of the shape and shading! Of course I have some clients that have no problem with it, but I think if I want to work on projects that include other people (which mean we need to use same drawing style) or someone simply want an exact WOW art style, I need to able to do it.

    First, I tried to look at how other people do and imitate, and start with blur sketch, flat layers of solid color, etc... but it not working since i need shape before coloring (as how I usually do). Then I tried to masking an area that I want smooth gradient on it and start to finish it at smooth at possible, but masking area after area take too much time.

    I'm currently turn back to pastel drawing, try to draw without sketch lines, but it gonna take very long time to archive something from it.

    Idea about how to fix it - a work flow from sketch to smooth finish that I able to follow?
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  3. #2
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    What you need to do is smooth out the rough areas with a very soft low opacity brush. Then refine the edges with a fairly hard high opacity brush. Also, remember that edges in shadows are softer than those in light.
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    Practice with big opaque brushes. It'll force you to think in terms of shapes/planes instead of lines. It'll also reduce that muddy/blurry look.

    Pastel practice may not be that useful in breaking your habits. Despite some painterly qualities, pastels are still a medium that enforces line drawing. Oils or acrylics could be a better choice. Again, use brushes that feel "too big", so you are not tempted to draw lines with fine brushes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shorinji_Knight View Post
    What you need to do is smooth out the rough areas with a very soft low opacity brush. Then refine the edges with a fairly hard high opacity brush. Also, remember that edges in shadows are softer than those in light.
    Hey Shorinji_Knight, sorry for off topic queston but I had not heard that "edges in shadows are softer than those in light." Its a useful tip! just wondering if this was the case even in a really light environment or against a really light background?
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    Edges between different objects where similar values meet will be softer than where there is contrast between the objects. So you can certainly have paintings where there are soft or lost edges in the light.

    OP - because you have always relied on lines to define your edges, you have neglected to learn edge control, where one shape meets with another. If you study the real world, you will find that nothing in life has lines around the outside. There are merely transitions between colours. Some of these transitions are sharp and abrupt, some are softer, and some are not visible easily and it looks like objects merge together and are one thing (like black boots may be almost completely hidden against a black coat). Learning to depict and control these transitions is an extremely important part of becoming a competent painter (digital or traditional).

    Treat the painting as a whole. Masking can help when all the transitions are sharp, but there are places where objects need to blend smoothly into one another and if you treat each object as separate rather than approaching the painting as one whole image then you will have a hard time mastering soft and lost edges.

    Here's an article by dpaint about edge control, it doesn't really tell you how to do it but it explains the philosophy behind it. It applies to digital art just as much as traditional, so don't think that just because you use different tools that you can ignore the principles of painting:

    http://www.artandinfluence.com/2011/...-of-edges.html
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    Thanks everyone, especially LaCan's advice - very helpful.
    I will report often how far I able to go with each method, old habits die hard, I knew I should try breaking it much sooner.
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    Need help to change drawing style.

    This one I've just did only using big brushes with high opaque setting then some smudge at later stage, not what I had in mind when I begin, but definitely a step forward. The process as a whole feel weird to me.

    Take two hours for this simple drawing - with ref picture
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    Happy holidays, people.

    edges in shadows are softer than those in light.
    This assertion is not based on any principle that I know of. Do you recall your source for this idea?

    In my understanding there are many different kinds of lighting and atmospheric situations, and in some of them shadows are crisp, some are foggy, etc. It all depends on the effect you are going for. Don't get into formulas. Instead, always be an artist and cultivate your ability to imagine your pictures.

    Edges between different objects where similar values meet will be softer than where there is contrast between the objects.

    This assertion is not based on any principle that I know of. Do you recall your source for this idea?

    In my understanding, this is wholly a question of what effect one is going for in the treatment of the edges.


    You can certainly have paintings where there are soft or lost edges in the light.
    Notice the above sentence is offering possibilities, rather than narrowing them, dogmatically... Generally the hallmark of true knowledge.
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    I think he mean edge in highlight should be painted harder because it more likely define the shape of the object in viewer's vision. It's not perfect inline with how it work in real life, but it work in artist favor.

    Unless the light sources came from behind the object, I usually do the same thing, tried my best to keep things in highlight as sharp as possible.

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    You need to stop coloring and start painting.

    This means that you have to get past the lines and think with areas of color and light. The line is incidental in painting, it is just a border between two differently colored/lit areas. And the areas themselves are formed by the variously lit planes that compose the surface of the objects in the scene.
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    Shortly after open this thread, I realize that the problem is deeper than just technique. There's no way to fix it in short amount of practice, I need to give up this project that he want something similar to Blizzard concept art.

    I spend all my young days with pencil (from 3rd country, oil and acrylic cost a lot for poor kid) to the point all my skill revolve around sketches. Now I can earn money with my sketch and coloring them (I'm quite speedy with sketch so the earning not too bad for B&W pieces), so up until now, there's not much urge for me to re-learn how to paint properly.

    From now on, when ever there's no deadline pushing I will have three more things to do:
    1. Simplify the sketch before feed it into scanner.
    2. Paint over it, not under or on multiply layer.
    3. Attention to sharp edge and smoother shading.

    With my own personal stuffs, there gonna be no sketch before hand.

    Thanks everyone for the help. Any more idea? I'm eager to listen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    This assertion is not based on any principle that I know of. Do you recall your source for this idea?
    Sorry, no, I read it on the net and it made sense to me in the context of what I have observed. Looking around me I see the sharpest edges where there is light against dark and dark against light. Is it that the converse doesn't follow or are there counterexamples that I would see under different circumstances? I'm not particularly married to this idea if there are good counterexamples against it.

    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    In my understanding, this is wholly a question of what effect one is going for in the treatment of the edges.
    Okay, I'll buy that you can do anything in a painting. But that is not terribly helpful when one is learning to paint, because there are more ways to make a bad painting than a good one. Are there underlying principles to edge control, or does one just experiment until one accidentally does something that doesn't suck?
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  14. #13
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    I believe I got that from Elwell a long time ago, and I've always found it helpful. Now maybe it's not a catch all principle good for every circumstance, yet it seems to work in a number of applications. Until I find a better way of looking at it, it'll have to do.
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