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Hello, all! I'm hoping that this will be a tool for me to use to get comfortable with posting my art online, and maybe so I can keep an eye on my improvement, and hopefully it will encourage me as an artist to keep pushing forward and be the best I can be. This seems like an incredibly diverse and supportive community, and hopefully with time I'll soak up all the great creative energy around here. I would also like to use this as a space to keep track of notes I make when reading books or trying out new personal challenges. My main focus is in strengthening my technical skill enough that I can become a more effective storyteller, and building confidence in my style (which, at the moment, is all over the place). I would love suggestions, tips, info, critique, and general comments. Thank you for stopping by!
Personal goals and how I want to try to achieve them:
Environments: Perspective, depth, lighting, volume, and form. Create a convincing environment that tells a story and conveys character. Framing and composition. Determine what is needed, and what can be left out. Finding the right level of detail.
Exercises: Small environment such as items on a desk or leaves in the grass. Focus on simplifying shapes such as cylinders and cubes. View trees as a mass. Figure out how to draw a mass of branches without becoming incredibly confused. Break up foreground, middle ground, and background using varying shades of gray. Play with color and mood. Use space to create emphasis. Furniture arrangement should be deliberate and create a mood. Play with depth of field and line weight. Use real life reference for creating a fantasy environment (ie a kitchen sink being turned into a platform for a fantasy world-- turning organic shapes into man-made structures and vice versa, and seeing objects in a different way).
Characters: Anatomy, playing with shape and proportion, dynamic posing, gesture drawing, foreshortening, staying 'on model'.
Exercises: Play with proportions of limbs, eyes, nose, ears, hair, clothes. Push character designs and create interesting shapes. Avoid symmetrical posing. Create character flow and push the thicks and thins. Explore character expressions. Use objects as a reference for creating faces (ie using a shampoo bottle as reference for a face shape or body type). Analyze different artists styles to see how work has been done before. Character acting. Variate body types and push extremes to convey attitude.
Color: Shape, lighting, emphasis.
Exercises: Color studies, use color to create mood, play with color harmony.
Style: Check out how other people do it. Composition, texture, line, form, shape, and consistency.
Exercises: Find favorite artworks, write down what you like about that artwork (color, lighting, mood, shape, etc), and use that to create a sketch. Be aware of how the artist uses the picture plane. What do they keep in? What do they take out? What draws you to it? Analyze what makes their art recognizable.
I'm going to go ahead and post this before I convince myself not to. I plan on taking the concept and playing with the composition. For now, this was a doodle that grew into something larger. I normally thumbnail something if I have an idea, but since there was no idea behind this, it grew from the face of the cat outward (which is why the pose looks so stiff and awkward.) I often don't tackle larger projects because I allow myself to be overwhelmed with the idea of choosing a theme and sticking with it. So, for now I will focus on this fishing cat and hopefully find some way to keep pushing that.
Good goals The sketch looks interesting, I'll keep my eyes open for more!