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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Drawing environments?

    I'm kinda just starting out drawing environments - before I have mostly worked on designing characters, drawing Fanart and such... So I never cared about environments much, with the result of them looking terrible now. So my question is now:

    Do you have any pieces of advice on how I start getting into environmental drawing, especially in the field of concept art?

    In figure drawing I know how to improve. There is kind of a guideline on how to approach this problem. However in environments, I seem to lack the idea of how I could improve and what I need to do to improve... For what it's worth, I sometimes watch speedpaintings of concept artists drawing environments, but if I try myself I am damn terrible at it.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanked 2,360 Times in 1,213 Posts
    Technically an environment is just an enormous still life. So you need to be able to draw a wide variety of objects, put them on a ground plane in perspective and light them properly. And because the still life is HUGE you need to account for atmospheric perspective.

    In order to draw a landscape, you need to know what it looks like. Head outside and practice. Later you can use what you learned drawing stuff around you to help you put together landscapes that don't exist, using reference photos to help you along.

    PS - get really good at perspective. It's not quite as important in naturalistic landscape where nothing is really parallel, but it will kill you if you need to draw anything artificial or mechanical.
    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanked 268 Times in 255 Posts
    Oh boy. I was here not so long ago. Still am to a certain extent. I had no idea what I was doing and nothing was really helping.

    A couple of things I have learned:

    - For painting, start with the biggest brush possible and work down through the sizes. I try not to reduce my brush size until I've done everything possible with the size I'm at.

    - Imply details. You will go crazy trying to fit in every single detail of a landscape. (This is why I hated trees for so long.) That's why you start big and work down. Slap on masses of colour, and then work them into shapes. If you're using pencil, shade an area and then darken/lighten sub-areas to make shapes.

    - Drawing landscapes to begin with is overwhelming and you will have no idea what you're doing. Do it anyway. After a while you'll start actually knowing what you're doing and get the hang of it. Landscaping, IME, is not like figure drawing where you can learn how to construct things. All you can really do is learn how to see and how to imply details.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Thanks so much, guys! I'm currently trying to take all your pieces of advice to heart and it seems to really help me - of course I am still far away from getting a MAJOR improvement, but I can see a difference to when I just draw an environment straight forwardly without any kind of guidelines to follow!

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