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  1. #31
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    The plan was to go back to doing quicker looser studies but this first paid commission lead to a new one being requested, so that kept me busy for a while. On one hand I'm extremely grateful (and flattered) that people want me to paint things for them, but on the other hand I really don't want to keep on painting in this style. The pose and people in it was decided for me, along with the background so I had to paint with that in mind.

    Things I thought about doing this one (and the last):

    My process is really bad still. I had to paint and repaint and repaint and repaint to get parts to look right, and then have to add another layer on top to fix and refix the proportions. This has become a bigger problem lately since I've switched to blocking in the silhouette first instead of lineart. End up having to rely on the transform and liquify tools a lot, which doesn't feel too great.

    I think I repainted Karin's face four times fully, but the first three times I was very zoomed in doing it, and it looked good on my screen, but the moment I zoomed out it was just way too detailed and complicated and stood out compared to the rest of the picture. Lately I've been breaking away from that habbit so I don't know why I ended up doing it this time.

    For some reason I didn't pick a lightning condition at first but just painted in colours without it in mind (which is madness) so had to fiddle around A LOT with overlay layers and whatnot to make it more cohesive.

    I really need to work on how to paint clothing, or textures in general. It all looks too much the same.

    This is my first time drawing someone with darker skin and coarser hair (and probably my... fifth? time drawing a male) so it was a good learning experience.
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  3. #32
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    A quicker painting I did this morning (character was requested by someone else). It's not very good but I like how the face and some of the colours turned out.

    I also like the process I used on this one a lot though. Basically chiseled out the silhouette in dark grey first, then added a layer on top of it with lineart, cleaned up the silhouette and changed the values to get what I wanted and then added the base colours on top with overlay layers. After those were set I just combined it into one layer and started adding the shadows and highlights.
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  4. #33
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    This week I'll go back to drawing (which I don't particularly enjoy -- especially in Photohsop), trying to internalize a specific style of 6 head characters that I want to use later on. A problem I have going between different anatomical styles is that I get confused a lot and accidentally mix styles (shoulder/neck area being the biggest offender) with weird results.

    So the plan is to spend this week drawing characters from a series called Nagi no Asukara, which has an art direction I really enjoy. I want to practice drawing as many different poses as possible to increase my repertoire, become better at drawing clothing and getting better at expressing and keeping form constant (i.e. make it look like the same character no matter the pose).

    This is something I haven't really done before but in my mind it makes a lot of sense as an exercise.


    I started off really slow today just trying to figure out what brushes to go with and what shading to use (would make sense to have the shading consistent between poses). I'm drawing Manaka to begin with (https://www.google.se/search?q=manak...h=1072&dpr=0.9).



    The results are... questionable at best. But this proves my point that it's something I need to work on. I'm amazed by mangaka that are able to draw their characters in any pose -- not to mention animators!.
    I might switch to Sai tomorrow since lineart in photoshop is a pita.
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  5. #34
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    Tried to draw the character in 6 poses, 5 minutes each, without using erase, undo nor transform.

    The first tries were terrible but I think I sort of got the hang of it by the end. I also did a proper piece (~4h) using Sai instead of Photoshop and the easy method that I've stayed away from for a long time (i.e. everything on different layers). The amonut of control you get this way makes it much much much easier to tweak as you go along and hide deficencies, which is why I haven't used it lately.
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  6. #35
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    Basically the same approach this time around (thought I spent slightly more time cleaning up). Found some pose reference, did a 15 second gesture or so for it then continued without it. Still doesn't look like it's supposed to be the same character.

    Common problems I have to fix: shoulder width, torso width, head being too round (and thus making me draw the eyes too far apart), eyes themselves being way too big. There's probably a bunch of things I haven't mentioned, and even more that I'm not good enough to notice by myself yet.
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  7. #36
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    Did a couple of 30 second gesture drawings to freshen up my memory, and a quicker painting (~3h?) of a character. I wanted a clean look with strong colours (blue-yellow and red-green scheme) and also wanted the textures to be more obvious. The last part didn't go as well as I wanted.
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  8. #37
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    A 60 min speed painting. Wanted a much more painterly finish on this one, using lost edges and leaving brush strokes as untouched as possible.
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  9. #38
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    A brush/texture experiment in the same vein as the last one, but this time using only one layer. Final piece from Nagi no Asukara (series) before I move on.

    Man this style is way too hard to paint for me right now. The last thing I need is more things to have to worry about, hah.

    The thumbnail looks wrong, which means that something has gone amiss. Not sure what though. Nose/mouth and chin placement?
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  10. #39
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    You're story is one that a lot of people here can sympathize with. So many of us are so lazy and full of our selves and yet we've decided to take on a goal that requires so much work and honesty haha What did you major in in university? You don't have to answer, but I ask because if it's something you really liked you could try incorporating it into your art.

    In regards to drawing characters in any pose you want, keep doing those gestures and figure studies. The more you understand how the body looks and acts the easier it'll become to visualize them. If you can picture an object or character in a 3-D space in your head then putting them down is a cake walk. And with your latest painting the angle of the forearm is making the arm look a bit disjointed to me, like it's someone else's arm.

  11. #40
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    Heh. I actually majored in Japanese, and I'm way on my way to get a teaching license in the language (and a couple of other subjects) -- and I think my influences when it comes to the first one are quite clear. Knowing the language does open up a couple new hubs of knowledge (especially when it comes to lineart). Didactics is another area that is surprisingly useful to get a better grasp of how you learn things.

    None of these are specifically connected to art, but have their uses nontheless.

    Yeah the arm in the painting looks way off. I was struggling really hard trying to make the hand look decent since I had botched the perspective at first, and by the time I felt it didn't look like garbage and zoomed out I realized the entire arm was off. I tried to patch it up but couldn't get it to work. I also think the contrast around her eyes and the nose/mouth placements are off as well...

    I do feel like there is a point in keeping those mistakes in (outside of commissions) as a reminder to myself of what went wrong. It's so easy for me to look back at some of my earlier paintings and just forget what an absurd amount of time some of them took to finish due to constantly having to compensate for mistakes.

    My copy of "Alla Prima" by the god Richard Schmid arrived in the mail earlier this week so I've been trying to digest the contents. I did a piece where I tried to incorporate some of the things he pointed towards. One was the cold/warm relationship between shadows and lightning and the other one was the dangers of "over-doing" parts, which I am really guilty of. "The character has these details so I should add them in", and end up with a bunch of hard edges I didn't want and makes the composition really confusing. I think I actually went way too far "finishing up" this piece too, because I really enjoy how the block-in looked in comparison (I attached both). I decided to just use a simple brush to give it a chunkier feeling this time around.

    Btw, Minse, I checked out your sketchbook and I really enjoyed the apple and soap studies you did. Even if they are rough I feel like I could reach out my hand and grab one of them. I wish I could get the same solid feeling for my own paintings!

    Back to simpler studies...


    Edit: man the compression you get uploading .png-files on this site just WRECKS my paintings. Reuploaded as a jpg now.
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    Last edited by ili104; March 12th, 2016 at 06:06 AM.

  12. #41
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    I've been studying the book Color & Light along with Alla Prima (way too much stuff to digest all at once) while working on a commission I got. I also tried an exercise where I'd try and copy the hue/saturation/value of a piece without colour picking. I'm not sure how to go about posting the originals (because it's commercial art, not made by me) but I figured a tiny tumbnail might be alright? Either way it went surprisingly well, so I'll move towards more value-focused studies instead I think. Original art by toro1234 and NaBaBa by the way.

    Also asked an illustrator I really admire if he could give me some tips, and to my surprise not only did he spend time answering my questions, he also supplied me with one of his .psd files with all the layers and early sketches etc intact. Feels amazing to be able to get such a close picture of how he works. Hopefully I'll be able to use some of the stuff I learned! Just amazed by his generosity.

    Posting the commission I did (I think the colour balance and lightning is much better on this one compared to the two others I've done in a similiar style) as well.
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  13. #42
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    Two value studies from photographs (really obvious due to the overblown whites). 30 minutes each? The apples took more time but the result was much less pleasing.
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  14. #43
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    Two more value studies. Quite lost when it comes to vegetation to be honest.


    Also did a piece that is somewhere between quick and polished... About 3 hours in total?

    Tried to incorporate some of the things I've been studying in orer to make the form feel more solid. Switched around the warmness of the shadows depending on how the plane was angled. My imagined light sources: a cold light main source coming from the top right cooling down the skin/hair/clothing. A clear sky that makes the shadows of horizontal planes appear bluer. There is also a pond of water just to her left which has an even stronger cooling effect on planes pointing towards it. Any plane not pointing towards the water nor the sky that isn't in the light becomes warmer instead (the neck, but not it's cast shadow).
    I think this is the "correct" way to think about hue changes in light depending on how cool/warm it is, but if anyone could point out the things I've missed or gotten wrong I'd be super grateful.

    Things that didn't turn out well in this painting: the texture, form of the blazer and how the hair falls. The blazer problem stems from me not using any references at all this time around, and just a general lack of understanding of how clothing works. Compared to three months ago though I am really really happy with my progress overall. For reference: http://i.imgur.com/O8UibLs.png and http://i.imgur.com/jgOPtyL.png.
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  15. #44
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    I feel quite dumb right now. Literally two days ago I thought I had a sort of decent basic idea of how lightning etc worked. Then I start doing a new piece and end up making the same mistakes as before.

    List of things that didn't go well: I've been going back to a more lineart-heavy base, but I didn't spend even close to enough time getting the drawing right before I went into painting. And since the linerart layer is on multiply and above the base colour/shading layer I had to go back and forth fixing. The hands were just a catastrophy, and I hadn't even thought about the lightning conditions at all before I started painting. Somewhere in the middle I went "hang on... what am I doing" and tried to save it. Since I had already used 95% brightness on the base skin layer, and a really light shade for the white itself I had very few values to work with to define highlights and such. BAH.

    I do like the vivid colours though, and the pose and expression overall.
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    Last edited by ili104; March 20th, 2016 at 11:04 AM.

  16. #45
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    Another value study... Something I found doing this one was that by including many of the real subtle value changes on the napkin it really helped with clarifying the texture compared to the one I did yesterday where I stopped short of that.

    EDIT: added today's painting. I didn't push the lightning enough and the light sources are really confusing. Not to mention the perspective overall... Just wanted to do something simple and rough without having to think too much (that rhyhmed) so I got what I put in. A lot more enjoyable to start with colours and shades and tweak it as I go compared to the last two pieces where I went back to a style with a very heavy drawing base. Leads to way more mistakes overall though.
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    Last edited by ili104; March 21st, 2016 at 06:38 PM.

  17. #46
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    A couple more 30 second gesture drawings I did this morning. Tried the scribble method for one A4.
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  18. #47
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    Used basically only basic brushes for this one until the very end. Wanted a super crisp contrast (hence the use of pure black on some spots) to help with the focus (which is one of the problems the last piece had in my opinion). I think I exaggerated the gesture too much, but I think it has some redeeming qualities. Had a clear idea in my mind what I wanted to do and convey (which is highly unusual), which helped focus the effort.
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  19. #48
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    This day has been terrible. Woke up after a bad days sleep and felt really restless, in both senses of the word. Started working on a piece but hurried through the important preliminary stages way too quickly and spent a lot of time trying to (and ultimately failing) at saving it. I wasn't overly enthusiastic about painting the character to begin with, and got 45 minutes or so into two different poses before I just tossed it out of the window. The expression was bad, the shading was all over the place and it was just terribly rushed.

    Did I learn from that? Nope. Just felt more pressured and could feel the day ending, so I went for another character and another scene but (again) I hurried through the drawing stage and the perspective was all skewed. I went over with a lineart layer on top with the basic shapes to try and figure out what had went wrong, but the entire chest/hip area was such a clusterf that I just tossed it in the bin. That's the image I've attached. I can point out other things that are bad (general composition, shading outside of her head area) and the list goes on. Sigh. I didn't really care about the character nor the scene to begin with anyway.

    Ended up painting some reference-less landscape painting study instead, trying to see if I could make something without staring myself blind at real pictures. It came out better than the other things I've done today but not great. Today's not over, but I've spent a ridiculous amount of time in front of the tablet as it is (12+ hours).

    Enough with the negativity!

    I want to improve and produce as much as possible, but I'm also growing scared of making mistakes again. The last few weeks I've signed up to a ton of social media sites trying to spread my work, but this also means that every time I paint something it's going up on five different sites, and being compared to the last thing I did. I'm probably thinking a lot more about it than the people watching but it's adding up some pressure. I think acknowledging this is the first step, but I'll have to figure out a plan.


    Either way rushing won't help me become better, it won't let me produce and post more but is purely wasting my time. I'll try and cool down tomorrow and ignore the ticking clock.
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  20. #49
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    So after I wrote that post I decided that ok, if I can't draw anything cute today, then lets do something that mimics my mood instead. And thus today ends on a positive note, having released all that anger and frustration.
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  21. #50
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    This one didn't turn out that well. Something (eye placement, I think...) has been wrong the entire time but I've spent way more time trying to fix it than I should have. This one was mostly me trying to get the forms right in a type of pose I struggle a lot with (slightly leaning forward). Tried to keep my lights and shadows separate, and shadows basically flat, using slight changes in value to indicate forms in the light/shadow. Somewhere in the middle I got caught up in trying to make the overall image look good instead however and that sort of fell off. 5h spent on it, with basically 2h being me just trying to figure out why it looks so off. And yeah I know the light from the gloria would illuminate her hair, but it just made the composition really confusing so I decided to skip on it.
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  22. #51
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    So I got a request yesterday ("paint fuuko with her starfish"), watched a lengthy dvd on composition and tried to incorporate some of the stuff. Also everything but the last "cleanup time" zoomed out again this time, but started in monochrome and sort of liked the result so skipped to a very low key scheme.

    I finished it this morning but it looked... horrendous. I didn't even realize how wrong it was before I sat down before this post and started fixing stuff. It's amazing how the brain can anchor itself to something and not realize it until you get a fresh look. I tend to switch the painting around 180' a lot and zoom out a bunch, but even then it escapes me...
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    Last edited by ili104; March 28th, 2016 at 05:37 PM.

  23. #52
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    Another painting started and finished today
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  24. #53
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    Been doing other things so only posting a quick sketch today. (actually the first thing in a while I've done that actually fits under the "sketchbook" moniker). Took 30-45 minutes to do with no pre planning. I really like these brushes (and the loose style) so I'll try and make something proper with this idea as a base. I have this terrible habbit of overworking areas which makes them all muddy, I want to keep the brushstrokes alive but in order to do that I also have to get them right the first time. It's funny how many people think that the sketchier styles are easier to get right, when you realize just how much thought has to go into every move you make.
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  25. #54
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    Today's painting (seem to be up to about 5 per week lately). The anatomy is a bit off (shoulder area, one of the arms) but I really enjoy how some parts of it turned out. I still think this is a bit too overmodelled for my taste, but I had to correct some major parts of the drawing so I lost some of the brushstrokes there. I do think it looks really tasteful, as in "yummy" and considering how many different colours that are present I think it sort of comes together.

    The drawing itself is quity shaky though, as always. Even though my goal is to loosen up as much as possible I really can't help but agree with what Richard Schmid writes about "rough styles", how it's a "finish", not a "process". Guess I'll spend tomorrow drawing necks and shoulders.
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  26. #55
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    Oh boy. I've been going through the paintings I did in March and "correcting" their necks (after refreshing my knowledge from some books), and I found a lot of paintings that had clear problems in this area. This is great news, because now I have something very concrete to work towards. The less great news is that even though I can see that they are off, I can't make improvements on all of them. I think this is based on two things: lack of structural knowledge and other things being wrong as well (based on the neck being as it is). Anyway, I did a couple of studies as well as this speed painting (~80 minutes) I attached (where I tried to focus on the neck area). I'll focus on portraits this week and the neck/shoulder area specifically.
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  27. #56
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    Ok, so the last one was quite extreme (and the two side muscles don't show up equally when the head is tilted like that) so I tried tweaking it, with two different versions. The hard part isn't even the anatomy itself, it's how to pick what to convey. Bah.

    Spent around 3 hours more doing neck studies from reference as well, and that's what I will return to...
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  28. #57
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    Update day 2: after a couple of hours of just trying to analyze necks (while sitting in front of a mirror) I ended up painting another piece (attached below). This one was done without reference and I think it has some problems in the neck area still, but I feel like I'm making some progress.
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  29. #58
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    Just a quick doodle (~30 mins with no plan). Tried to push contrasts (round or sharp, gradient or abrupt, light or dark).
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    Note to self: If the original sketch looks like absolute garbage then instead of trying to tweak it, just scrap it and start anew. Or you end up doing what I just did, which is paint something and then spend 4 hours trying to make it work. Also if you are going to study how neck works then dont spend 10 minutes on getting that part right and then 5 hours on the face/hair.

    Going to scale back on the realism again, but it's hard for me to keep it simplistic when doing portraits like that.

    The base: http://i.imgur.com/UK0ueN9.png
    Trying to fix it...: http://i.imgur.com/SMNEFuH.png
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    I like your painting style quit a bit on this one!

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