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  1. #91
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    I can see definite progress in your work. You have some really good things going on here. Keep it up!


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  4. #92
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    @number9dream thanks! I think self-evaluation is a really important part of the process, and writing the thoughts down helps you remember what you thought and can also be a help in organizing and making sense of abstract ideas in your head. Or that's the justification I use, hah. I wish I could just go "ok, did this mistake once -- never do it again" but sadly I'm not that quick of a learner so writing it down helps I feel.

    @Cameronator thank you! I'm pretty happy with the progress I'm making but there's still so much to learn.

    Yesterday's piece:
    + I managed to do what I initially set out to: make it look really warm and.... fruity? Her name is Yuzu, which is a citrus fruit, so I tried to enforce that theme. (It's not a OC but a character from the show Aikatsu Stars, ep 04, but I tweaked around the design a bit). I also wanted it to have a mix of sharp/fuzzy edges but have a really soft impression, so no textures or anything fancy used.
    + The process was quite quick and I didn't have to do any major changes while painting it (arm/hand position, dress length, leg positioning)

    - The one major change I had to do was a real pain, because this is all painted on one layer, and the hand that goes over her face was wrong and distorted so I had to repaint that area even after I was donw with the eye/hair. Major pain! Ended up just making a new layer on top with the hand instead.
    - The silhouette could be clearer. I like the skirt area, and most of her right side (though I do feel I airbrushed away too much of her hand), but the arm going up towards her eye is bad and the cloth connected to the ribbon behind her back make it harder to read (are they legs? why does she have 3 legs?). The character has those in the show so I decided to add them in, but in retrospect it would have been better to remove them + the right part of the ribbon to increase the focus of the piece.


    A couple of short term goals:

    Focus more on making interesting/expressive poses and clear silhouettes trying to convey a message. On one hand I think having objects overlap really helps sell the 3d effect, but on the other hand it can make for a really confusing thumbnail. I've been working on this lately by zooming out really really far (making the painting ~ an inch big on the monitor) and seeing if there is any confusion anywhere.

    Backgrounds, backgrounds... I really want to paint the characters into a scene, or a mood, instead of having these white backgrounds. I don't want to go all-out and paint landscapes, but at least something that helps sell the idea of what I'm trying to convey.

  5. #93
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    Really awesome progress in the past 5 months. Your figure stuff has come a LONG way. Inspiring stuff keep going this momentum is golden!

  6. #94
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    @aks9 Thank you. I really mean it. I really enjoy your thumbnails and use of colour!

    The momentum is (sadly) taking a sharp and brutal turn for the next three weeks (after somehow getting through the first two).

    The internship I'm at right now is owning my soul. I basically spent all of my available time doing something work related, leaving very little for anything else. And the little time I get I'm too tired to think, and trying to paint when yo u can't concentrate never results in anything useful.

    Adding on to that I also came down in a fever just as the internship started, hovering around 102f for several days but not being in a position where I can just lay at home and rest. Terrible week overall but not without it's bright spots.

    It sucks, but in three weeks when I'm free again I'll hopefully go back with renewed fevor.


    Below are random doodles without reference trying to push for some more rhythmic poses.
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  7. #95
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    Not sure how I feel about this one. It was a difficult pose (didn't have any reference so had to only rely on my own body to check for things) and I still have very little experience with drawing backgrounds. The force on the shoulder supporting her arm didn't survive after the gesture phase. Hmf.

    At least I managed to paint something without rushing, which is good. Some of the light/shadow areas I think work quite nicely as well.
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    Last edited by ili104; May 14th, 2016 at 10:47 AM.

  8. #96
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    Hey Ili, great sketchbook! I'm glad you decided to pick it up again. I actually have almost an identical story. I was stubborn about art in highschool, eventually hated it, then years later I decided to get back into it. Very glad I did and very glad you did too!

    I'll take a shot at some advice, and maybe some other people have already said this, but I think you need to completely forget about style. When you obsess about style you overlook so many fundamentals that you should be focusing on. All the artists you love (or any really good artists) have a huge foundation of fundamentals and their style is just something that grew out of that naturally. So the best way to get more convincing art is to focus more on visual truth, like perspective, lighting, anatomy, tone, composition, etc. and the style will come naturally while you're exploring everything else... That's the advice that helped me the most when I decided to get back into art. I hope it helps. Peace! -daniel

  9. #97
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    ...also want to say that I'm super jealous of your figure drawings. And I should probably tell myself to stop leaving comments and get back to drawing so I can someday draw figures like Ili!

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  11. #98
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    I only allow you to be jealous of my figure drawings if I can be of your landscapes. If we could somehow combine the two of us.... Thanks. Back to work with you!

  12. #99
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    Oh man there's so many artists on here with similar stories to yours you're deeeeefinitely not alone.

    some really really important advice that I feel I have to give you since I struggled with the same thing.
    using references definitely isn't cheating and there is no such thing as origniality!! every idea has been used before. so don't be afraid to pull inspiration from everything, just be sure to put your own little twists on it of course. I think that advice was one of the best I've ever gotten. You're getting a lot of good advice in our thread . so much so that i cp'd them to a word document. I think i'll do that from now on, collect advice from people's sketchbooks.

    I also wanted to give you some advice that i saw the other day. I forget who's sketchbook it was. They said something about how whenever they start losing motivation that the first thing they do is take a look at their old art and compare it to their new art and it instantly inspires them. another strategy they did for keeping motivated is just picking up anything and trying to draw it, just to make sure they at least are drawing something. I tried this today and I feel like it works because drawing a random picture or something makes me 'warm-up' kind of and then after that i feel like i have enough creative juices flowing to start getting into real studies....

    well i hope that helps. i'm not a professional critique i am just giving to you what people have given to me that i've found helpful so i hope it helps you too.

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  14. #100
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    So after four weeks of quite literally having no time to paint at all, I'm now back. It feels a bit awkward and I can tell that I'm a really off right now, but for a few months now I will have plenty of time to sink into improving.

    A lot of catching up to do, and today didn't go well. For some reason I decided that a good way to "get back" was to try and draw a really complicated piece featuring heavy foreshortening, a pose I had never drawn before, in a style I wasn't used to and with a background that properly places the figure. No go. Didn't attach it because I feel like I know what went wrong.

    It failed due to two main reasons (I feel) 1) being too eager and going too quickly without planning properly and 2) not yet having a good enough grasp of perspective. I can (sort of) draw figures in perspective, or backgrounds in perspective but when I try and combine the two I get really weird results.

    I don't want to limit myself to just drawing floating characters with simple abstract backgrounds, but going from a white background (or a gradient w/e) into full-blown scenery is a daunting task for sure. I'm bound to fail and fail again, but I'm confident that it will be worth learning in the end. I feel like learning how to do landscape paintings will have a positive effect on my figure drawings as well when it comes to lightning, shapes and colour choices.

    I'll also go back to using brushes with no opacity jitter, to deepen my control over values and colour choices.

    Are there any good books on environment painting/drawing? I have Gurney's "Color and Light" and Richard Schmid's "Alla Prima" but still looking for more. Especially ones that focus on doing it in photoshop would be very helpful (are any of the gnomon videos good?).

    Attached a quick environment doodle using simple brushes with 100% opacity.
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    Last edited by ili104; May 28th, 2016 at 03:58 PM.

  15. #101
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    I started a normal character piece, scratched it and did a few quick landscape paintings instead trying out colour schemes. They are all different degrees of bad. They are done without any reference so I can get a feel for how limited I am, before I start to work on improving my "visual library" that Feng Zhu talks about.

    I really don't have any idea how nature looks. To be fair, I don't have any ambition to become a landscape painter, but as it stands now I can't even make convincing simple backdrops. A lot of studying is in order...

    Things that don't work:
    - the thumbnails don't read well at all (this is connected to the second one...)
    - the foreground, middleground and backdground are jumbled together or don't have enough contrast to sell the idea of depth.
    - The colours lack variation and are dull
    - The compositions are basic and underdeveloped

    On the plus side, it's always nice to have a clear goal to work towards. Still on the outlook for good books on landscape painting though.
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  16. #102
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    Last day of internship done.

    Since "backgrounds" or "environments" is such a huge subject I've decided to break them down into parts instead of trying to learn everything at once.

    I figured that since the sky features in most things I paint, I'd start with that.

    So today I spent some time outside analyzing and trying to figure out clouds & the sky. Re-read Gunrey's "Color and Light", but there were a bunch of things about the atmosphere that I felt I needed to actually see to get a grasp of.

    I brought a color grabber with me to check hue/saturation/value at different heights in the sky, seeing how the colours changed closer to the horizon, and how they changed. The grabber isn't perfect but it was nice to have something to fall back on to back up the conclusions I had made.

    Today has been sunny with barely any clouds, and I went outside in the middle of the day.

    I'd love if someone could look through these notes and tell me if there's anything off/weird about them.

    What I found out about the sky:

    • Like Gunrey says in the book there are two gradations in the sky: one towards the horizon and one that has to do with how close to the sun the sky is. What I did find interesting is that while the value difference between the "well of the sky" and the horizon was ~ 1 step (10%) on the value ladder, there was no difference horizontally. I.e. the sky when looking towards the sun had basically the same value as the same height at the antisolar point. This doesn't make much sense to me though physically, and is very hard to judge with the eyes since the corona of the sun makes observation harder, but still something I noticed.
    • The gradiation going from the horizon up into the sky is a lot less abrupt than I thought it was, meaning that if you paint a normal portrait looking straight forward with the horizon at the thigh or above, the entire of the background would be gradiated and you wouldn't actually see the point where it stops.
    • I thought the hue would change much more than it did when going from the top of the sky getting closer to the horizon, but there was barely any change at all (if any). The horizon appeared much greener in my mind than it actually turned out to be. (Why would the horizon get greener anyway? I guess if less of the blue makes it through the dust/vapor, then it would turn more green as a result....?)
    • The saturation at the highest point of the sky (antisolar point) was about 60%, getting to 20-30% close to the horizon. The closer you got to the sun the less saturated the sky became (second source of gradation).


    • The gradiation from the top of the sky down to the horizon isn't a smooth curve, but start out really gradual but then becomes more abrupt at the horizon. I.e. you can't just drag a smooth gradation from top to bottom in PS and call it a day.



    I did three sketches in PS, one before going out (n. 1), one after I had gotten my data on how the actual sky looked (but before I had started looking at clouds), and the third one after doing some research on cumulus clouds, and changing to a painting technique that is less ugly (those gradiations are hideous).

    Notes about clouds:

    • Their lower parts are actually flat
    • From observation (in this type of weather) they also appear much sharper than I thought they would, especially the top part you could really make out the shapes even at some distance whereas the lower parts appeared more blurry. Hard to know if that's some sort of general "rule" or just the case today.
    • I don't know how to paint clouds, but I don't want to use cloud brushes because they seem like a wasted opportunity (opportunity to have the shapes of the clouds work with the picture rather than just being "pasted").



    A lot of rambling and not very many sketches to show for it yet. I'll do more tomorrow!

    EDIT: added another "sky" (free of clouds) where I tried to break up the monotone gradation and also added some subtle broken colour to give it some depth. Looks a bit more convincing, but not there yet.

    EDIT: went out around sunset, analyzed it, went back in and tried to replicate how it looked (antisolar point). The clouds were much darker with no direct light hitting them, but the sky behind them was still quite lit (but still darker than during the middle of the day). Generally less saturation overall, with the area around the horizon going as low as 15-20% saturation. The gradation also reversed, with the higher parts of the sky still being (light due to the sunlight still hitting it), and the horizon getting progressively darker. The antisolar point had very little of the yellow/purple/brown I saw when looking closer to the sun.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 3rd, 2016 at 04:37 PM.

  17. #103
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    Clouds clouds clouds. I've been reading up on different types of clouds and how they look/act, and some other atmospheric effects (earth's shadow and the belt of venus). I guess the earth's shadow is what made the sky closer to the horizon (at the antisolar point) darker and more saturated than I expected it to be. Interesting stuff.


    The clouds I painted look terrible still, but I think the single cloud is showing at least some progress. They look too solid though, which I think has to do with a) their opacity (duh), but also b) not fully understanding how the sub-surface scattering works in clouds. They seem to be much more evenly illuminated (but still with a distinct lighter/darker side) than I was able to express in these two.


    EDIT: actually scratch most of what I've been saying. The silhouette is a lot less sharp than I first thought (on observation), also the clouds have the shape of puffs of smoke climbing higher, and don't (nor can they) form the type of shapes in the first two paintings I did. I watched a video of cumbulo clouds forming and dissappearing and that shows the rhythm and general "idea" much clearer... Now I have an idea of what the clouds "do" and what to look for. The next step is to learn how to show their movement.

    Attached a new sketch that is still lacking in that deparment, but I'll try and get it right tomorrow or later today.

    EDIT: aight, did a forth one. THIS one is closer to what I'm looking for. Still needs work though!
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    Last edited by ili104; June 4th, 2016 at 02:39 PM.

  18. #104
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    Went outside today and took some more notes, then returned home and painted this. It's my first "real" painting in two weeks or so. I'm not sure if clouds can work like that (i.e the lower altitude clouds are moving one direction, the higher ones another) but anyway...


    Man, looking back, I kind of liked it more at an earlier stage (http://i.imgur.com/EX8MtwM.png). Meh!

    I find it really problematic getting the shadows right if I start with a coloured block-in compared to if I set the values first with greyscale and then manipulate the painting to make it coloured. I tend to make some darker areas first (thinking about the colour temperature and adjacent colours), then end up having to (much later) add a new layer with multiply and go over the painting with some purple.

    It also came out looking way too "digital" overall. I have a lot of time on my hand now to improve though, thankfully.
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  19. #105
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    Yet another quick painting.. Again going with a low horizon and cumulus clouds. The character isn't obeying the perspective so she comes of looking like a giant haha.
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  20. #106
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    A new painting... Took ~ 2.5 hours from start to finish.

    Tried to push edges (lost, soft and sharp) in this one by using the smudge tool along with some sharp contrast. Also did everything I could to not make the colours flat or dull, but tried to mix many hues into the painting while still keeping with the red/green/yellow scheme.

    The process went like this:

    Did a couple of sketches on a huge square canvas to get the pose/expression like I wanted, blocked in with the basic shading/value in greyscale. Then I made a simple background and made an overlay layer and painted over the entire painting with the base colours of the background first, then a new overlay layer with the base colours of the character (blending them together). Then on top of that I just painted on like normal, and when I liked how the colours looked and the silhouette I started working on the edges, contrast and cropped in the composition and tried to push it. I ended up removing the shading of the hair because it looked a lot more interesting with the water colour-like black effect.

    Ended up merging the layers too early (again!) but except for that it was pretty smooth sailing. I think it is really really hard to make interesting poses/pieces of characters straight up facing the camera, so that made for a challenge. Skirts and the manga hairdoes really help make the image not feel so stale and dull.


    EDIT: changed how it was cropped and tweaked some details.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 7th, 2016 at 03:00 PM.

  21. #107
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    AMAZING! are you a working professional?

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  23. #108
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    @MoeY haha, I wish! I'm not a working professional but rather a slacking amateur. I'll take what you said as a compliment though! Glad you liked the painting.


    Sooo today I finished up the research I felt I needed when it comes to clouds (and the sky/horizon). I feel like I know enough now to make some grounded decisions about their design, which is cool. S

    till can't draw/paint vegetation to save my life, and the rocks I attached (made without looking up any references, to signal the start of the "let's learn vegetation project") have designs that make very little sense.

    The lightning doesn't make any sense either, since the grass is much darker than it would appear in real life. The edges appear backlit too which doesn't make any sense since the rest of the rocks are clearly lit from above. My main concern was showing form, not accuracy, so I guess I'll just let this one slide...

    Now I want to know what vegetation/flora you can find in different parts of the world, if there are any common themes to know about, and get a better grasp on how hue and value changes in grass and thicker bushes (to get a more natural and less flat feel). I also want to (or rather need to...) dig much deeper into the anatomy of the arms/legs, but I have way too many things on my mind as it is. One thing at a time!
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  24. #109
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    your intro for your Sketchbook sounds a lot like my personal experience with drawing...(and my first sketchbook post.) glad to see we're both back drawing hopefully we can both stick to it this time and see our dreams through to our goals! There's a lot of potential in your work. Now you just have to keep nurturing it!

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    @Mono8 thanks, and best of luck to you too!



    I was going to draw more rocks yesterday, but a part of the illumination of something I was painting confused me, and I ended up sidetracking and spent the entire day studying colour theory. I went through all of conceptart.orgs great David Briggs site (http://www.huevaluechroma.com/index.php) and even though I possess some knowledge, a lot of it was new.

    My head hurts.


    My notes (maybe someone finds this interesting. If so they should go onto his site and read up!):

    On chroma/saturation/brightness in PS
    I had no idea that the saturation slider had to do with how saturated the color is at that specifi hue/brightness, and that brightness is also relative to the hue/saturation. Interesting! The charts showing how the chroma of colours change depending on the brightness was also interesting, and explains some problems I've had. How value isn't just a 0-100 scale but rather depends on the hue/saturation is also interesting. I.e. how a 30 value fully saturated blue is not even close to equal in brightness to the same value of grey. It's something I've "noticed" (when colours/values appear wrong) but haven't done any extensive testing to figure out. This also explains why you can't (using a square colour picker) just flip to a different hue of the same saturation/value and paint with it expecting the same brightness.

    On saturation/hue changes in lights:

    I thought saturation/hue changing in the light/shade always happened, even with white light. Alla Prima talks about the whole warm light/cold shadow but that seems much more limited than it first appears. First of all, the cold shadows (in a warmer light) would only happen if the ambient lightning makes it so. If there's a clear blue sky and you have a warmer light source then sure, the shadows would be "colder" (more blue), but if you (inside a white room) shine a red light at a white cube on a white paper then both the lightning and shade would in turn be red. I.e. the colour of the shade depends on the ambient lightning/secondary light sources. There's also colour relativity ,i.e. that shadows look like (keyword is "look") complementary colours of the light source.


    On colour changes observed on an object based on the colour of the light:

    Even though it is perfectly logical I did not buy the idea that a pure red light source illuminating a blue ball would in fact make it appear black. The idea of illuminating something but having it become darker just seems weird. But I built myself a small paper "cave" and got an app on the phone that made it beam in different colours of light, and could conclude that that is exactly what happens. I couldn't find anything of that "purely" reflected blue, bot I expect the effect to be exaggerated in those cases. I mean in retrospect having something that is "blue" by default means that it doesn't reflect red light, and thus shinging something red on it should by definition have it absorb the light, not reflect it.

    I think the "blue sphere hit by red light" would still produce a specular though (of pure red hue)... It makes sense in my head but I don't know why -- maybe the way speculars are created (i.e bounce right off the surface) means the blue sphere doesn't have a chance to absorb it...?

    I did a sketch illustrating this (but actually understated the "blackness" the sphere would have). I did another one of a mid value (hue = 0) red ball sitting on top of a lighter value paper (base taken from this thread -> http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...ing-and-Toast-!) where a white light hits it at the top (with no ambient light to speak of). The specular should be white and the hue/saturation should stay constant. What I'm not sure of however is the effect the red paper would have reflecting the white light on to the sphere.

    I know that the light reflected onto the sphere should be the same color as the paper (i.e. reflecting pure red), but what would happen to the saturation of the sphere? The way I painted it I reduced the saturation of the reflected light, but I don't think this is correct at all. Why would it become less saturated when it's hit by the same light it already reflects 100%? I mean if it already reflects red 100% then should there even be any reflected light at all...?

    The third sketch was me trying to fit some spheres into a photograph.


    On light fall-off due to inclination of a plane:

    This one I found really surprising! Scott Robertson (and Vilppu for that matter) talk about how form change = value change, but on Briggs' site the graph showing how the perceived brightness barely changes at all when a plane recedes back, having to hit ~ 60 degrees before having any real effect. Richard Schmid in Alla Prima (under "Conservation of values") mentions how you can show form changes up to 40 degrees by only changing the hue, without touching the value. I think these two statements show how "flat" the surfaces actually appear to the eye, and why a big part of the "full light" of a sphere can look so uniform. This doesn't mean that form change =/= value change, but rather that the way it changes isn't a linear relationship. Very interesting imo.

    On inscattering/outscattering in atmospheric perspective:

    I knew that objects tend to look more blue as they move back in space due to atmospheric perspective. What I didn't know was how this varies with how much blue the objects are percieved to lose/gain "on the way". The fact that brighter objects lose more blue (and thus appear yellow-orange in colour) is something I have noticed but didn't know why it happened. I thought it had to do with the rayleigh scattering and the height of the orange clouds compared to the rest of the horizon. Totally wrong!


    Long post, but I really needed to internalize this stuff, and writing it down helped.
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  27. #111
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    Thanks for sharing your notes ili! They answer some questions I bumped into yesterday while going over the basics of lighting and color. Especially the blue ball in red light was unexpected but logical.

    I look forward to see how this new knowledge will affect your work. Keep it up!

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    @fantasyartist I'm glad they helped! When it comes to how much they will effect my work... We'll as of now it probably won't have any major impact because there's just way too much to swallow. Maybe down the line!

    @ClaySlinky heh, I wish I had been drawing when I was 3. I started painting warhammer at the age of 10, but that was my first foray into art (which also ended quite abruptly a couple of years later). Setting goals is something I tend to slip at sadly. I start with an idea of what I want to practice in mind, but when I'm about 60% done with a piece I just forget all about it.


    I totally agree with the notion that studies are more important than finishing pieces, but I also think that there's a point in trying to paint something above your own skill level and failing, and then get the motivation to find out and fix what went wrong. There's a modern wave of applied didactics in schools that use these concepts in classrooms. Instead of teaching to a test and then testing the pupils, you start with the test itself -- and then teach them what they have now realized that they didn't know. I've been trying this with the rock/cloud studies, because it's so easy to start reading up on a subject and dismiss it, thinking "yeah I already knew that", instead of testing yourself first.


    Anyway... Today's piece I had an idea of what character I wanted to paint, the clothing, but not the pose nor anything else. The character has really pale skin, yellow hair, and wears a yellow and white dress. Not the easiest to get right. I knew I wanted to include a lot of reflected light, and have the sun as a very warm yellow-red colour hitting at an angle where it would result in a strong lightning ratio. I also knew I wanted to continue working with sharp-soft-lost edges like the last piece.

    I couldn't decide on a pose at all so ended up getting annoyed and just went with the first one that didn't look terrible. I ended up spending literally hours hammering out the silhouette though, which was a big waste of time since I knew I would paint over it anyway. I think there is a sweetspot between having a really crisp drawing (or a silhouette in my case), and just scribbling down something. I sketched down the pose, but it was off on many levels (didn't have any close references to compare to), then filled it in with a dark grey. This was not terribly bright (hah!), because it meant I couldn't really apply colours over it at all, so ended up having to bump up the brightness a ton (and thus lose most of the lineart).

    For some reason I also started and finished the base of the character (didn't start colouring) before actually starting to think about the scene or the perspective (terrible terrible habbit).

    About the lightning:

    The lightning situation is a clear blue sky and a low warm coloured sun (afternoon). The sun hits at a steep angle so I had a lot of green light bounce up at the down-facing surfaces. I'm not sure what would happen if you had a strong green reflection of the grass, but also had the sunlight hitting the surface in full force. I think the direct light would basically take over (which Is how I've painted it basically) but I'm not sure.

    For some reason I don't do the lightning conditions one after the other but end up fixing and correcting and changing constantly while working on a piece. Something to think about.

    Yes, the blue reflections of the skylight on one side of the dress are a quite a bit overdone (a pure yellow dress wouldn't reflect blue at all. This isn't pure though so we'd have slight reflections. I think. Heh) but it looked better that way. I think the dress could've shown an equally strong blue as this one if it had a stronger specular reflaction though. Maybe. Satin?

    There are so many many many more things to consider when drawing (pose, expression, gesture, proportions/anatomy, values, composition) that I'm getting a bit swamped right now.

    To sum up:

    + I like the colours used in general, and the expression looks ok (if a bit confused...)
    + Some of the shapes show decent form.
    - the process was just a mess overall. I didn't take the time to think about the entire composition before I started painting, but only had a vague idea in mind.
    - the perspective and proportions are messy for sure.



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  29. #113
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    Oh man my landscapes look so wack haha.

    First four are just some thumbnails trying to figure out what to do for the next painting, and the following four were slower thumbnails (about 30 mins each) with reference. I didn't copy the reference pictures but tried a method where I'd pick one colour from the ref photo, and then base the rest of the colours on comparisons to the first colour painted in. I.e I'd pick a green/yellow, then when going for highlights I'd consider how the lightning would effect the colour and adjust as such. The photograph ref was in 16:9 ratio and were quite different from what

    The typical anime approach of applying all local colours first and then shade in one area at a time that is so popular when shading lineart seems so much less natural than this approach.

    A random (but quite important I think) observation I've made is that specular reflections are much much more prevalent than I thought (outside of the highlight). I did some simple tests tilting different objects away/towards the skylight entering the room from my window, and even the much more rugged surfaces showed clear signs of spectral reflection over their surfaces.

    This link shows another really interesting phenomenon: http://www.huevaluechroma.com/045.php. The site shows graphs of which oil paints reflect which wave lengths. This seems really important when it comes to figuring out what hue/saturation/value are possible in nature, and how strong the colours can be pushed without appearing unnatural. When painting digitally you don't have the luxury of being forced to work within a realistic gamut by default (which as clear advantages as well, of course), so I think knowledge about things like these could be very useful.

    Another thing I've noticed is that (when painting landscapes) the greens are seldom as green as I see them, but seem to almost always stray towards a yellowish light. During the hours when the sunlight appears warmer this obviously makes sense, but even during midday when the light coming in is basically white the greens look more yellow. I'm not sure if this is an accurate observation, but that's how it looks to me. (Using the colour dropper in Photoshop from a photograph would, due to the nature of photographs, not really count as evidence I feel).


    Edit: did some quick sketches trying out some ideas of how I can stay in portrait format but still include more of the landscape into the picture.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 14th, 2016 at 11:46 AM.

  30. #114
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    Today has been a busy day.

    Been painting for about... 8 hours in total?

    I'll do something different this time around and just dump all the progress pictures here, because I feel that they are a big part of my problem.

    There are too many thoughts spinning around in my head when painting, and suddenly I might remember "oh yeah the negative shapes!" or "wait a minute, this composition is dull".

    I wanted to accompish two things above all: again, place a character within a scene, get the colours within the image to work without anything looking "out of place" or "muddy".

    Image 1:
    I did a bunch of thumbnails trying to come up with different simple compositions. Trying to cement this part of the process instead of just "going for something"

    Image 2:
    Choose a composition and tweaked it around to make it more interesting. Plotted basic perspective.

    Image 3:
    Blocked in over the sketch and ruined absolutely everything. I tried some weird pose (that doesn't work) to connect the cat and the girl but it looked extremely stiff. Thankfully I had the original sketch on another layer.

    Image 4:
    Redid the blockin of the girl to get the pose back more like I wanted it.

    Image 5:
    Colour blockin... I first added colours with overlay to get a feel for it, then painted over it.

    Image 6:
    A bunch of smaller tweaks because a bunch of things still seemed off to me. Here I felt like I was getting close to done with the drawing aspect and now wanted to make it into a "painting".

    Image 7:
    Done. A lot of subtle (and less than subtle) changes. Mostly breaking up the sky into smaller segments, making the lightning situation clearer and more uniform, and tighting up the composition.

    As you can see my paintings have (though this is an extreme case) a tendancy look less than great during the actual process. This took about eight hours in total (started this morning) and image 1-4 took about half of those hours, and from 7 to 8 took maybe 45 minutes. Which is weird... but seems about right.


    - Process is still slowwww and I waste so much time fixing the sloppy block-in
    - Blocking in with greyscale while still keeping the lineart makes it really annoying to apply colours over, especially since I didn't add shade/light side to the greyscale. I basically had to repaint the same painting four times.
    + I like how the colours turned out in the end, and I think the environment actually kind of works.

    I should paint more poses that involve dynamic hands and feed, but there's just so much one can tackle per painting I think.
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  31. #115
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    I took up ClaySlinky on his suggestion of doing some fundamental exercises (at "drawabox").

    I'm not sure I agree with the siteholders suggesiton to stay away from digital media for the exercies however. Any tiny tiny mistake you make in Photoshop shows up much clearer than if done in physical media (with the PS opacity jitter etc turned off). Also I personally think that it is by far more difficult to do the exercises digitally due to the whole tablet/different monitor deal.

    I'm using an Intuos Pro Medium, and I have a 27' monitor (which is about 70cm in front of me).
    So for example, in the exercises I've attached, when I'm stating that they were done "zoomed out" that essentially means that every plane is drawn with each line only being approx 1cm long in real size (how much the pen travels on the tablet). On my monitor they doubled or trippled in size, basically magnifying the lines and making any jitter stand out. Digital can get you into the habbit of trying to draw using your fingers or wrist more than you should though (I seem to be using my shoulder 90% of the time, fingers never move and my wrist is only used for the smallest details).

    In Sai this line weight jitter is counter-balanced by an algorithm smoothing things out and thus might not be optimal for practice (this also explains why lines drawn in that program look so much cleaner).


    Anyway, I tested myself doing the exercise different ways, and the only constants I kept constant was my pen grip, tablet placement and not using any rotation inside PS/sai. The results came out basically as I expected, with the zoomed in versions (every rectangle taking up about 5cm of physical size on the tablet) being much clearer and more accurate. Both drawing really quickly, and slowly, had a clear negative effect on the line quality (also something I "knew" beforehand but hadn't properly tested out).

    The fact that trying to draw lineart(when zoomed out) in PS with a normal tablet (i.e. not a cintiq) feels like crap shouldn't be news to anyone that has tried though.

    After doing the exercise digitally first I decided to test it out in my A5 sketchbook too, and the results were basically the same, i.e. not very good at all. This is obviously something I'll need to practice more.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 16th, 2016 at 11:38 AM.

  32. #116
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    Arguably one of my weakest areas, and about time I get better at it. Rotating boxes (from the "organic boxes" exercise at drawabox.com). Main focus here wasn't to keep them looking like boxes, but just getting the perspective itself sort of correct. These will be the baseline boxes that I'll improve upon.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 17th, 2016 at 05:32 AM.

  33. #117
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    Looks like you're having fun with those box exercises. Make sure you take your time on it to make it accurate. Doing some plotted perspective will make your freehand boxes more accurate.

  34. #118
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    @MoeY I wasn't exactly "having fun" making them, quite the opposite in fact haha. As I've mentioned before, on one hand it's disheartening to "find" such a glaring weakness within oneself, on the other hand it gives you a clear goal to work towards.

    I did those first boxes without looking anything up to be able to exaggerate this effect and point out just how clueless I was.

    Fail at something first -- figure out what went wrong and what knowledge you lack, research, then come back and try again.

    So what I realized quite early into the exercise was two things: a) I did not know how much to foreshorten objects, b) I was unable to visualize or understand how to properly rotate boxes. Now these problems stem from a bigger gap in knowledge, namely that the practice I had put into perspective never had given me a real understanding of "why". I mean I can draw a sick 2-point perspective anything if I get my grids out and do it the mechanical way, but if you then ask me to tilt the object towards me and redraw it I'd run away.

    For example: I did not know why the vanishing points are placed where they are, which is also why I didn't understand how to foreshorten objects "properly".

    I re-did the exercise (with a twist) this morning, but kept one of the axis constant (i.e. I only rotated them along one axis), and this time I also tried to keep them still looking like cubes. I also tried to make all of the boxes adhere to the same amount of foreshortening and had the horizon line and vanishing points mapped out (on a hidden layer, so I could check after having drawn the boxes). I've encircled the points I feel are wrong, but overall I feel like this went much better than the last time. It also took an obscene amount of time to do (about 5 minutes per box) because I placed the vanishing points really far away from each other.

    Frankly I still need to work a lot more on this, and will do, but at least I'm getting somewhere (I think). I'd love to know if there's anything off about these boxes. (I know some of them occupy the same space, but except for that)
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    Last edited by ili104; June 18th, 2016 at 05:08 PM.

  35. #119
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    I've been drawing so many boxes (most with physical media) it's starting to get a bit ridiculous.

    I did this set of rotating boxes without any horizont line/vanishing points plotted but just thinking about the field of vision, how sharply the planes are going back or forward in space, and thinking about how the relationships between the converging planes should be.

    I then went over all the boxes one more time freehand, with a coloured brush this time around.

    The main thing bothering me right now is how to think about boxes that are tilted (in 3 point perspective) in such a way that no lines are parallel to the horizon line. I know that if one side has lines parallel to the horizon line, then the two other converging sets of lines will converge on the same vertical plane (I.e one Vp will be right above the other). I attached two pictures that illustrate this.

    But if none of the lines converge on the horizon line, what happens to the relationship between the lines now? Will the relationship between the lines (that are at a 90' angle from each other) still have one stay atop of the other one, or will one set of line end up in front of the other? I can visualize rotations in my head easily where one set of lines converge on the horizon line, but when tilts are introduced I get confused.

    I tried to set it up in sketchup but it didn't read clearly so wasn't of much use.
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  36. #120
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    More boxes. Tried my hands at making a gif of a rotating box, to see if I could keep the proportions and size while having it rotate (angles are approx 15/75', 30/60', 45/45' repeating with a cone of view of 60 degrees (30' vanishing points hit the outer rim of the circle).

    I want to make another gif but showing a box in 3 point perspective rotating around an axis but I still don't know exactly how the vanishing points would behave so I'm keeping it on a low.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 20th, 2016 at 12:17 PM.

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