practicing laying lines

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  1. #1
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    practicing laying lines

    hi there. this is mostly about trying to draw lines correctly, so I'd appreciate comments on that topic.
    I will want to do some hatching or something similar in gray as a follow up on this piece, will also appreciate comments on that.
    other than that the pose is a mix and match of references, will like to know how i can make it more engaging and tense.

    hopefully you enjoy this one, it's more than 3 hours of work which is a lot for me. Name:  ff6 fanart kafka.png
Views: 294
Size:  181.2 KB

    The heights by great men reached and kept,
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
    For they, while they companions slept,
    Were toiling upwards in the night"

    (Henry Wadsworth)
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  3. #2
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    You are not drawing the lines correctly, sorry. You are scribbling and getting a "hairy" line.

    Work from the shoulder, do not scribble with your fingers. Fingers are for holding the pencil, not moving it around.

    Read this: http://chiseledrocks.com/main/musing...old_the_pencil

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  5. #3
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    Short update. Did some repairs on the pose then started coloring.Is a huge time and effort sink but at least I'm practicing using variations in color to define form and how different color / light theories influence a piece's final look.


    method of coloring: prepare palate for each area, putting dots of color from the palate on area.
    To do after coloring: Background. Big shadows.

    Coloring the figures is taking an obscene amount of time. Need new work process that is MUCH (an order of magnitude) faster than current one. At least I get to practice making shadows and defining form through variations in color.

    Problems I am in need of advice with:
    1. putting dots on area from prepared palate is taking a huge amount of time and piece is starting to be a chore. How to shorten time spent on piece? alternative work processes that end up with a similar feel to the paint job?
    2. The larger the surface the crappier the color fill is turning out. What do I need to do different when I am doing a larger area?
    3. will appreciate you guys pointing out some of the bigger errors in shading.


    Name:  ff6 fanart kafka v4.jpg
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    The heights by great men reached and kept,
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
    For they, while they companions slept,
    Were toiling upwards in the night"

    (Henry Wadsworth)
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  6. #4
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    What you are doing with this is unaffectionately known as "polishing a turd". Painting over a drawing with unresolved structural problems will inevitably produce a painting with the same structural problems.

    I'd suggest you focus on the drawing basics for now. Painting can wait. There is no point in trying to run before you've learned to walk.

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  7. #5
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    I have a limit to my skill. Not allowing myself to finish pieces because I am not able to do a part of the piece in a way that I want to just results in an unfinished piece. I think what you're suggesting has very small value and very high cost.

    at other times I discover issues with a piece only after I work out stuff like color. For instance the woman's far leg being too big. I can choose to not accept this and go back to drawing and recolor afterwards. Yes the picture improves if I do this, but the improvement is marginal compared to the amount of work.

    It is important to me that I finish a piece and move on. So the amount of do-overs I allow myself with each piece is limited. Because otherwise I'd never by satisfied and never finish a piece and the act of painting will become a painful chore. Yes the finished pieces have unresolved problems. But having unresolved problems in your work is something anyone in my level of skill - and yours too - need to accept.

    otherwise - don't paint at all just do boring studies all day and don't progress anywhere because passion is lost.

    Honestly "painting can wait" is a fairly bad piece of advice. I don't know if I'll ever reach a level of skill that is acceptable to me. Even if I do, I don't know when it's gonna happen or what will happen to my desire to draw while I deplete my reserves of persistence and passion into a learning effort. Giving up the bird in my hand for the two on the tree? really? I'm sorry, but that's just dumb.

    The heights by great men reached and kept,
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
    For they, while they companions slept,
    Were toiling upwards in the night"

    (Henry Wadsworth)
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  8. #6
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    "Bad advice"? I am only suggesting what experience shows about efficient learning.

    You are a bit wrong about cost, here. At an early stage, when you invest so much time and effort into a single sketch, it seems to you that it would be wasteful to just throw it away and sketch another. It is not. You are looking at the immediate cost (losing your "bird in hand"), while you should be considering the *total* cost (learning to climb the tree so all birds are yours).

    In reality, pictures as the end result should not be your goals. Your real goal, at this stage, is building up your skill. You will make poor-quality work at first; it does not matter. What matters is practicing as much as you can, and by staying too long with a bad sketch you only waste time and reinforce bad habits.

    The trick, here, is that when you are just beginning, there are exercises that provide better return on investment than other things.

    Pencil drawing is better than painting for a beginner, simply because 1) it is easier, so you do not waste as much time on fighting the medium, and 2) painting uses a lot of what you should have learned with drawing, as a foundation. Without that foundation, you are floundering badly, and you admit it yourself. Well, at your level, it's like a toddler trying to run a marathon while doing backflips every 5 steps. It can only end in tears.

    Likewise, even when you are not a beginner anymore, it pays off to fix problems at the stage when fixing is cheap. Yes, often it means redrawing multiple times, or doing multiple sketches. But if you consider the total investment - when something that costs you an hour to fix in a sketch, but would cost you ten or twenty hours of reworking to fix in painting later on, or be impossible to fix at all and force you to restart, then you'd be wise to fix the sketch.

    As for sketches - sketches, ultimately, are tools; in this case think of them as essentially throw-away things you use to practice on. Do not hold them too dear. Keep successful sketches for later, in case you want to reuse the ideas or rework them when you have more skill. But most of them are just stepstones, what matters is what you learn while drawing them. The more you draw, the faster and easier it gets. What you are doing right now is clinging to something you would not think twice about, after you spend a year practicing systematically. Wasting hours on something that later on would take you 5 minutes to do if you invest those hours into a different thing. It is not worth that.

    What you are doing here is like insisting to decorate a lopsided house that is not going to hold its own weight. Learn to lay the bricks evenly, first.

    Instant gratification is your enemy when you are learning. Get rid of that mindset.

    So if you want to learn anything, as opposed to jerking off making "pretty pictures", stop fooling around, read that article on holding the pencil, learn to use your whole arm to create the line, and focus on structural drawing. A good thing for a start is drawing a teapot from life.

    Recommended reading: "Successful Drawing" by Loomis, "Perspective Made Easy" by Norling, "Cartoon Animation" by Blair.

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  10. #7
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    What fuels me and gives me the resolve to continue is outputting pieces. If I follow the idea of just doing studies it is like replacing all the gasoline from my car with banana juice and then going on a 5000 mile cross country trip with said juice flowing happily through the pistons.

    So I think I will pass on "efficient but ineffective". The correct course of action is to combine creating pieces that are exciting for me to do, while funneling learning efforts through those pieces. which is what I'm doing and why coloring takes so damn long.

    If it helps you, you can think about my pieces as "half studies". Part of them alf-assed or rushed, whereas another part is heavily invested in things I want to practice.

    As for misdirected effort, I don't think this is the case here. Yes I will eventually learn a better, faster way. The effort I am spending now is the currency with which I am paying for that faster way. You say I can learn color without practicing color? I very much doubt that is the case. Moreover, just as practicing penciling, construction, et cetera will improve my color work, so will my color work improve my construction work, penciling et cetera.



    Ofcourse I won't gain everything from every piece. For instance with this piece I don't think I gain a lot of skill in constructing figures, and that's mostly because I was referencing heavily instead of making constructs. But on the other hand my perception of light and shadow, my understanding of how light "works" in both nature and art, my ability to lay lines and maybe hatch - all of those things will improve.

    a word or two about your article.
    It's a good display for how things are done and I can definitely reference to it when im going to work on my penmanship.

    However:
    doesn't give any decent understanding as to why they are done the way they are done.
    doesn't explain the reasoning behind the different poses.
    has some factual mistakes (tablets don't work well with violin grip? mine works just fine)
    There is (are) a (several) mechanism(s) for why lines come out the way they do when you do this or that grip, and downsides to both grips that result from the mechanics of the grip. Your article makes no attempt to explain these mechanisms.

    The heights by great men reached and kept,
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
    For they, while they companions slept,
    Were toiling upwards in the night"

    (Henry Wadsworth)
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  11. #8
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    sidenote:

    from what I've managed to find about light so far, practicing values is not necessary for correct understanding of color (but it probably helps a ton ).

    The heights by great men reached and kept,
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
    For they, while they companions slept,
    Were toiling upwards in the night"

    (Henry Wadsworth)
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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amir0 View Post
    with this piece I don't think I gain a lot of skill in constructing figures, and that's mostly because I was referencing heavily instead of making constructs
    I think you mean that you didn't increase your skill in drawing from imagination. Which you can't do anyway since you don't have fundamentals down.

    References should teach you a LOT about constructing figures. You're supposed to use them as a guide for construction, because they tell you where to place shadows, how light acts on the subject, perspective hints, how to foreshorten, etc.

    Take everything your references give you. It's quite valuable.

    Visit my sketchbook or my deviantArt!
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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuu-chan View Post
    I think you mean that you didn't increase your skill in drawing from imagination.
    No, I meant that I did not increase my skill in constructing figures. Drawing from imagination is something much broader that can't be boxed in such a small frame as knowing how to draw a manikin (for lack of a better word) in a correct pose and dress it in a human shape.

    While there was some heavy referencing in this piece, this piece is not a simple trace from reference. It is 4 different independent references modified and patched into a composition that was decided on before the references were found. I made a decision that I wanted these specific references. I searched for them and I planned in advance the adaptations each reference will have to undergo.

    Which definitely constitutes as using and developing my ability to work from and with my imagination. Specifically, adapting the jester's hand to the new size took a lot of effort which definitely increased my ability to conceive of future works using the narrative tool of "changing the character's size to give it access to a role it should not normally have".

    Which you can't do anyway since you don't have fundamentals down.
    You're using the term "can't" very loosly here. I could draw and paint from imagination the moment I drew my first stick figure and took it home with me in kindergarten. Being able to do something and being able to do it at a specific level are two very different things.

    Maybe you mean that I can't yet do it with 100% correct anatomy, shading, pose, et cetera. Shouldn't stop me from trying and enjoying the process though .

    You can help by letting me know where I can improve - specifically in places where I focus my efforts - and by showing me what I can do better. Specific actions are preferable because they are understandable, applicable, useful. As opposed to just saying "oh, you suck, better learn" - which isn't really helping me with anything.

    References should teach you a LOT about constructing figures. You're supposed to use them as a guide for construction, because they tell you where to place shadows, how light acts on the subject, perspective hints, how to foreshorten, etc.
    Have you ever studied to a test from a question bank and instead of solving the questions cheated and looked at the answers? It may be useful, but it definitely hurts your learning. Using references teaches you a lot of things but in some way it is like looking at the answers instead of trying to solve the question. This has a cost to my learning process which I try to understand and account for.

    It is important to me to both attain some level of quality and do so within a reasonable time frame. Because of them I "cheat" in one way or another in almost every piece I make. But I compensate by "cheating" in different ways every time I draw. Sometimes I get references for the poses. Other times I half ass the color job. et cetera.

    The heights by great men reached and kept,
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
    For they, while they companions slept,
    Were toiling upwards in the night"

    (Henry Wadsworth)
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  14. #11
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    afterthought: since this is starting to be an ongoing effort maybe i'd do better to move these things to sketchbook thread

    The heights by great men reached and kept,
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
    For they, while they companions slept,
    Were toiling upwards in the night"

    (Henry Wadsworth)
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    I say do what you want. Yes, you need to work on the drawing basics, but that doesn't mean you have to stop painting. Work with what you've got, but always strive to improve. Art should be a fun process, and in my eyes, there is no such thing as "Polishing a turd". Art is subjective.

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  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnaCarolinaPereira View Post
    I say do what you want. Yes, you need to work on the drawing basics, but that doesn't mean you have to stop painting. Work with what you've got, but always strive to improve. Art should be a fun process, and in my eyes, there is no such thing as "Polishing a turd". Art is subjective.
    I just want to say this: there is a reason why I take this course of action and not a different one, and why I defend it against the prevailing view - the place i am in life right now makes these goals and methods more fitting than the "go study" approach.

    "Learning to paint good" and "getting to pro level within reasonable time frame" (standard art school goal) are goals that are probably better realized by investing massive hours into studying with a structured curriculum I.E. what was suggested.

    For me these goals are less relevant due to a multitude of reasons. Because my set of goals and constraints is different, my course of action is different.

    I am not trying to mindlessly rebel against a prevailing technique or advocate an acute case of "its my way or the high way". Different goals dictate different methods - and if my goals are different than so are my methods.

    The heights by great men reached and kept,
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
    For they, while they companions slept,
    Were toiling upwards in the night"

    (Henry Wadsworth)
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  17. #14
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    Do whatever you want. It's your life.

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