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Hello people old and new.
(Can someone let me know how to change the thumbnail for this sketchbook please :/)
I've been away for a long time and felt the urge to return to the place it all started for me. When I left I lacked focus and drive and wasn't a help to myself or anyone else.
Recently I've gained drive and focus, I don't know how or why but it just happened one day and has been getting stronger each day.
I've been putting my stuff on DA but there is no way I'm going to get the help I need there, lets face it haha.
So I hope I can find old friends and/or make new ones.
The start of my journey to find my drive was a weird one, I play a game called 'Heroes of Newerth' and frequent the forums a lot, a while ago they hosted a creative contest in which we were tasked with creating one or more comics based around the game. This was my first attempt;
Clearly nothing great, the idea actually grew out of a pen sketch I liked enough to colour digitally (the face at the bottom), which was fairly new to me as I'd only just gotten a tablet and sketchbook pro 6 but I enjoyed it enough to do another;
A bit better, I actually spent a good bit of time on this one, the bottom pose was as adventurous as I've ever gotten at this point XD terrible I know but I've got to start somewhere right?
My 3rd comic, I was on a roll in terms of focus and the drive to create;
A fairly quick pen sketch I scanned in to colour, obviously my ... everything could do with some serious work but I got the idea in context down and was able to win the contest with this one when it came to picking the winners.
My fourth comic;
The one I spent the most time on, a clear improvement from the first I felt, I saw that I was actually improving and not at a terrible rate either so I was spurred on to create more stuff!
On the same game forum a thread popped up about someone wanting to get a tattoo of some game art and wanted opinions on what piece he should get, I noticed he offered 50 aus dollars for a custom piece, I knew this wasn't much at all, especially after the exchange into GBP but it took the opportunity and messaged him about it.
We went back and forth with ideas and eventually came up with something he'd like; this was by far the hardest thing I'd undertaken at this point and despite it not being much someone was actually paying me for it, so the pressure was on.
After a week I finished it, the client liked it and paid me but it turned out that the piece was too big for a tattoo and he wanted to change it into a poster piece and asked me to do a background for another 50 which I was happy to do. After another week I'd finished that too;
Clearly I was well out of my comfort zone but the client was happy enough with it. It gave me confidence to carry on creating and so I did....
Last edited by Crane; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:35 PM.
Another contest was being hosted on the HoN forums and I had the bug at this point. The guidelines was that you could use pre done art (by the studio hosting the contest) or you could make your own, obviously I wanted to make my own, they wanted 1 or more banners created that they would use in upcoming contests of kind.
I made several banners, in order;
Two of them were picked as winning entries to be used and I was very happy with how things were turning out.
I recently got back in touch with a gaming buddy and started playing HoN with him. He mentioned that his girlfriend was pregnant and that he wanted to to make a children's book where at the end it asked his girlfriend to marry him, he was using a rather terrible online drag and drop book making site that would print the book and send it to him, needless to say I offered to custom make him this book and he was delighted to hear that and was more than willing to pay me for my work.
Sadly he wasn't able to afford the whole book at this point but instead commissioned a proposal piece that he would get blown up and framed.
Here is that piece;
I felt I was improving at this point, especially my environments but my figures left a lot to be desired but my friend was happy with it and this only helped my confidence.
I'm still working in sketchbook pro 6 at this point and needless to say as great as it is for sketching, it isn't the tool I'd use to paint in :/
Side note; Funny thing about this piece, I accidentally set the size unit to inches instead of pixels and then wondered why it made my computer lag like crazy, turns out the actual size of this piece was 0.9 metres by 1.3 metres XD
Another contest on the HoN forums, but not just any contest, one where the winner would be able to get their idea made into an avatar and put into the game! This was the dream at this point, I wanted nothing more than to win this and get my idea into the game.
And so I set off to do just that, I worked on it constantly for weeks, painting it up and tearing it down until I got it right, I did more work than anyone in this and any previous contest has ever done in a bid to be the winner.
This is what I came up with;
Garan the Rune Weaver!
It was a tense time leading up to the winners announcement but it was totally worth it because they had chosen my idea along with one other, my idea is getting put into my favourite game for my favourite hero, I couldn't be happier at this point! It also confirmed that I had a future in making art that people liked enough to put into their game, to pay me for it so there was and still is no stopping me at this point
After winning the contest I was inspired to make my own story arc based around my winning entry.
This is the Crystal Golem, an avatar idea for another hero I am basing the lore around. This piece took me a long time and a learnt a lot along the way of doing it. I am very happy with how it turned out considering where I was not a few months prior.
Next I wanted to make a full illustration, this was a very painful learning experience to say the least, I head head first into my limits, the lack of knowledge in a lot of fundamentals, my values were off, my pose and anatomy was terrible, my colours just didn't work at all but I pushed through knowing that I needed to do this and that I was learning a great deal no matter how much it angered and upset me.
I've never been the smartest when it comes to studying, I avoid it like the plague and end up doing everything the hard way, by trial and error despite just mere feet away I have dozens of books with incredible advice and tutorials in them, I have dozens of videos on every subject I can imagine and yet I was stalwart against actually using them, I was fairly dumb to say the least haha.
I forced myself to watch, listen, read and actually take in what was being said, starting with James Gurney's light and colour, an incredible book that I intend to read into ruin and have to buy a new one!
I found a photo of a deer standing in a pool of water looking at a fish and had the urge to paint it, I changed a lot, added my own elements but tried to keep Mr Gurney's words in mind, I finally finished it a day or two ago and while there are many things wrong with it I happy with my progress
This is my latest piece more or less, I am looking forward to continuing this journey here, back on CA, I hope to make new friends along the way, so don't be shy please!
Thank you for looking!
Hey welcome back! Great stuff so far! I really like your texture and how the different surfaces feel like they're receiving different rendering treatments; it adds a really nice tactile feeling to the image.
That's great that you're getting into absorbing new resources, especially Gurney's books. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when you realize that all the information you want is out there, but you have to go through tons and tons of resources to find it.
One crit I have for you right now is that the color in your images, especially the last one, feels a bit compartmentalized, like the different objects aren't affecting each other. In the deer study, that turquoise water should be reflecting very noticeable color onto the underbelly of the deer and the sides of the trees. You could also emphasize the color of the light source on the lit planes of the objects to emphasize the sense of light in the scene and contrast with the aqua.
Thanks for the welcome and the crit, I don't know how I missed the reflected light -.- blerh.
I don't understand exactly what you mean by this though; 'You could also emphasize the color of the light source on the lit planes of the objects to emphasize the sense of light in the scene and contrast with the aqua.'
Probably super obvious but I'm dumb apparently lol
Oh, sorry, I just wrote it in a confusing way. Basically I think adding the color of the light (yellow-orange for bright sunlight in this case I think) to the top planes of everything and adding the reflected light color (blue-green) to the undersides would make the light more noticeable and kinda tie the scene together.
Quick paint-over. I also pushed the values a little with the curves tool and added some darker shadows around the terminator lines.
Wow thank you so much for the paint over, instantly looks miles better.
I thought that is what you meant but I couldn't be sure, I knew something was really off but couldn't be sure what, seems super obvious now and I feel silly for missing it :/
I'm not sure I have the curves tool thing in manga studio but I can achieve the same results by paying attention to the values etc from the get go, right?
Really big thanks, this is reaaaaallly helpful, I wish I could return it in kind.
Ah right, you use Manga Studio. Well in this case, using curves didn't make as much of a difference as adding more prominent shadows to the terminator line and brightening the top planes with some light yellow. One thing that the curves tool did that I liked is it lightened the water and made it slightly more blue, but that's something that you could easily do by hand (just takes a little longer).
Yeah I can't afford photoshop and to be honest manga studio is great, can do a lot of cool things PS can't.
I needed reminding of the terminator, completely forgot all about it :/ at the moment I'm working on gestures and soon anatomy, very weak areas for me I should have a better understanding of them by now but nope, bone idleness strikes again.
Proko has some really good videos on gesture that are super inspiring. (You can only attach 1 video per post so the last two are in link form.)
There was also a very long post about gesture drawing on the forums lately that might also be of use to you: