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  1. #121
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    Too many boxes lately, so I did a quick (~15 min) sketch of Nico from Kiznaiver. This is supposed to be a sketchbook, not a box book.



    Edit: I figured out why the boxes look so bad in the 2p perspective gif! I had been quite sloppy when mapping the angles from the station point (eye). I had decided the position of the station point by drawing diagonal lines from where I had set the 45' vanishing points, and where they intersected is where the station point would be (logic follows). The problem however is that I then tried to eyeball the 15, 30, 60 and 75 degree vanishing points, and consistently made the angles slightly too small. What this means in effect is that all the boxes had the station point be at a different place! I.e. they were not drawn see from the eyes of a single observer, but rather all the cubes other than the 45' and 1p cubes had the viewer be slightly off-center and too close, hence why they were looking so distorted even though I had set them to appear within a 60' cone of vision.

    ^ At least I think this is correct, hah. I included a drawing to demonstrate what I meant.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 21st, 2016 at 03:05 AM.


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  3. #122
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    Greyscale version of my new painting basically done. Trying to use what I've learned (3p perspective) but having a hard time applying to to a shape as complex as this. Anything I should change before I start point on top of it?

    I feel like I went way too far cleaning up (even though it's still loose) everything before going into colour again but eh.


    EDIT: I coloured it in but it looked terrible so I went back to B&W (with the changes I had made in colour intact). Now I'm in an even worse position to add colours over it, hah.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 22nd, 2016 at 03:24 PM.

  4. #123
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    How it turned out. Not a big fan. Mostly because this isn't how I wanted it to turn out. I wanted to try some simple 3p composition, which is what I did, but after that I just had no real idea what to do. The background was already set on the same layer as the character, and I kept it that way for some reason.

    The only way I knew to make it more visually interesting was to either a) go nuts with colours (http://i.imgur.com/cOYI5TE.png) or go nuts with light sources. The composition itself is dull to begin with. I'm mostly doing full body stuff to get training, not because I think it makes for good paintings.

    I did make several thumbnails first trying to come up with a pose, but I didn't have much else in mind. I started colouring it the normal way but it looked extremely dull so I just decided to go bananas.

    Anyway enough negativity.

    Notes to self:

    Please stop doing full greyscale paintings. Go into colour way earlier! Don't run away from the difficult parts (this one I'm split one because there is only so much one can cram into a painting. I think a "pick your battles" approach might be better in order to stay sane).

    Something I've noticed is that the more I learn the harder it gets to actually start painting. I think this is a part of the natural progression (the more you know the more you have to think about), and hopefully something that will ease up a bit with time.

    There's also the problem that comes with with uploading everything to social sites. You always try your darnest to one up your last piece, which I find to be a positive thing in general but it does add pressure. Pressure from within myself I should say, as I realize that this is a burden I'm putting on myself when I really shouldn't.

    The more time that passes between an upload the more pressure I feel too, so one way to "break through" would be to to simple produce more.


    Either way I just got a commission that will require some real study, so stay tuned for that.
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  5. #124
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    A couple of quick black & white sketches figuring out the composition for the next painting.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 23rd, 2016 at 10:27 AM.

  6. #125
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    Those last sketches look really nice ili. I respect your dedication to learning!

  7. #126
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    @fantasyartist thanks! I try my best. I've been doing all this structured stuff (which I don't particularly enjoy) so I'm really happy about getting this much rougher commission. It's always fun try try something new. The weird part is that this one doesn't use neither the colour theory, perspective nor landscape parts I've been practicing. It's all silhouette and design.


    I've been figuring out how to make this design work, trying all sorts of ideas. The one on the bottom is the present state. The hardest part is that generally my paintings move from rought to clean (too clean in my opinion), but this one the cleaner it becomes the worse it gets. So I have to constantly introduce additional roughness to make it work. She still looks a bit too disembodied, but the tighter I paint the transition from her upper body to the coiled sword the harder it is to read the composition. Interesting stuff to ponder about though.

    The end result will be on a 24x32 poster seen from about 2 meters away, so if the thumbnail doesn't work then I'm in deep trouble.
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  8. #127
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    Finished the painting. Things went really smoothly, but the main problem was trying to keep it in the rough style. It got too clean several times so I had to backtrack. Anyway I think this one turned out quite decent and was a fresh detour from what I've been doing lately.
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  9. #128
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    Forgive me for insulting you. I'm disgusted with the post I made. I didn't come with a critique. I came with the mood of a student, yet I tried to teach through my own little experience. I will work on myself and my drawings. I won't be back again unless I become a pro. Good luck on your journey. Please realize that I didn't mean to come off as mean or egotistical. I just wanted to help because your story and drive is inspiring. The story touched my heart (I'm sure many others as well) and we want to see you win. Stay positive and keep grinding! I'll see you at the top(:

    Edit: Ahhh yes, I see how I come off as now. I'm too insecure to truly critique so I try to play it off as a joke and it comes out the wrong way.
    Last edited by ClaySlinky; June 26th, 2016 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Edit

  10. #129
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    Really love this style compared to your usual anime heavy style, keep up the nice work

  11. #130
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    JeffCLC thanks! I figured this one might be more up the alley of people around here, hah. I'll paint some really colourful crazy anime stuff later just to spite you all!

    But before that I landed myself a couple of commissions so it's back to thumbnails.
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    Last edited by ili104; June 29th, 2016 at 10:07 AM.

  12. #131
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    Wow, looking back I'm surprised I can even make something out of the terrible sketches I do to begin the painting process. It worked out in the end though somehow. I changed the style in the middle because the face just wasn't working at all in the more deformed style. I was hearing all sorts of alarm signals.

    I wanted to make her look stoic and determined, and the pose needed to be very stiff. Her clothing, stance and hair doesn't lend itself well for an interesting silhouette (imo) so I decided to push the contrast instead. Either way I don't think Motoko really works painted in a dynamic pose, or at least not how I see the character. I decided to link all the dark areas together, and did the same for the light side. I took many liberties when it comes to the lightning and it's not lit in a realistic way.

    The whole painting process still bothers me. I.e. the question of if one should spend a lot of time at the beginning making sure the drawing is exactly right, and then paint, or if it's better to sculpt it as you go. A middle ground might be the most time efficient approach but I'm not sure.

    Also I really really really really need to stop putting everything on one layer. The character and background are at the same layer so every time I had to change the outline I also had to repaint the background. Ugh. I know there are positive side-effects of working this way (harder to accidentally make the character appear to float) but still...

    Next up is a character who's defining characteristic is her enormous breasts (Gwynevere from Dark Souls), so that will be an interestine one to tackle. Her role in the game is as a seducer so I can't really tweak that part either. People will scratch their heads wondering what happened to me I bet. Aw well!
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  13. #132
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    Still only halfway done, but this is how long I'm working on it today. The model has a crazy amount of details to it that I'll start grinding tomorrow, but I wanted to get the basic idea done today.

    This time around I didn't screw up the layers but have a clear texture, foreground, background, character (and arms on a separate layer) split. I've also done 95% of it using a basic brush with opacity/flow pressure sensitivty off, but with shape set to pressure sensitivty. I quite like what using sharp brushes like this one does to the character.
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  14. #133
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    And done! I successfully dodged many of the traps I've fallen into before, and in general I was way more organized than I tend to be. It goes without saying but it's much easier to paint something when you have a clear goal in mind of what you want to accomplish. Really happy with how clean the process was this time around.
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    Last edited by ili104; July 4th, 2016 at 05:50 PM.

  15. #134
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    Nothing super interesting, but just a quick b&w landscape sketch done without reference trying to get the textures to read. I had three big paintings in a row to finish so I've been laying low since friday. Still feeling a bit spent to be honest.

    I got a bunch of excuses, but I just haven't found myself able to put down the usual 5+ hours for these few days. I'm sort of back to stumbling, with no real idea of what I want to paint yet.

    I do know two things I really need to focus on though: arms/hands (again...) but more importantly: texture. Most of the things I paint the parts don't actually read as the proper material. Sometimes (like the Motoko painting) that's done on purpose but many times it isn't.

    The big culprit (I think) is the fact that for many of the characters I pain,t the references are from animation. Obviously when you animate something you also need to show the texture, but most of it is shown through movement (the hair flowing, the dress moving in the wind) whereas in a still picture you need to capture it in one frame. So when using references that have already simplified the clothing and folds, taking that and converting it into a more realistic render is much harder than doing the reverse -- taking something realistic and simplifying it. Sometimes I look for real photographs (or garments at home) for reference when it comes to clothing, but it's something I need to become better at.

    Many of the things I paint look like they are made from the same type of clay, not different materials. Now I'll just need to figure out how to make this into a project.


    EDIT: I did this exercise from drawabox.com -> http://drawabox.com/lesson/2 on dissection and organic forms. The form itself was just a random squiggly thing, so a part of the reason why the wood part looks so weird is because of how I had to "bend it" to keep with the form.

    I did this with a normal round brush with opacity set to off, a soft brush and a round brush with some simple texture on it (the blur...3? skin brush I think it is). The textures are supposed to be: a matte metallic objects, a linen cloth wrapping around it, wood (duh), a spool of silk, a tomato and an orange. Really fun exercise overall, and very clever I think. It took a ridiculous amount of time to finish (since I didn't use any real texture brushes), but I think that's the point too. How am I going to learn texture if I just rely on brushes to do them for me?

    Anyway some parts came out better than others, but the way the linen tapers down really isn't working at all. I might just do different drapery for the next one since that is clearly an area I'm struggling with (you'd think I'd be able to at least draw skirts by now but you'd be surprised...).
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    Last edited by ili104; July 5th, 2016 at 03:06 PM.

  16. #135
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    Did another one of those texture exercises.
    Like the last time the idea was to take a real piece of clothing and try to adapt it to the cylinder form (i.e. analyze the reference throughly in order to replicate the effect).

    I'm quite split on the result overall to be honest, but some of the cloth work quite well I feel (like the first and second one).

    Guess I'll try and incorporate this into a painting tomorrow.
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  17. #136
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    Aika from Aria (manga/anime)

    Trying to use some of the things I've been studying the last month (perspective, clouds, texture, composition and lightning) in this piece. 7 hours in total or so (I think... I lost track of time several times), started and finished today.

    I kept the layers tidy and nice (until the last hour when I went into polish mode), which helps speed up the flow. Foreground stuff (soft lightning, textures etc) in one folder, character on one layer, background on another layer beneath it. Made all major changes on new layers then merged when I was happy with the changes. Started in colour instead of greyscale this time (because it's an easy composition so would be easy to tweak).

    A major problem was that my loose sketch wasn't really working at all to begin with. Just a ton of minor (and some bigger) errors. Really should've spent the time on making it correct from the beginning. It's funny because I was complaining just last week about spending too much time on the sketch before moving into colours. Never seem to find the sweet spot. Maybe keeping the sketch loose but taking extreme care in making sure the perspective/proportions/pose/gesture etc are all correct, but keeping the lines themself loose, could be an alternative.

    It also ended up way too clean for my taste on many occassions (due to having to go over areas several times in a row, essentially killing all the brushstrokes...) so had to backpedal a lot.

    My paintings have this nasty habbit of looking really weak until the last 30 minutes where I go into curves, colour balancing and add soft lightning/multiply layers to tweak the contrast, and this one was no exception. I think I sort of managed to save it but eh.
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  18. #137
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    Yesterdays and todays batch of sketches. In order to combat some of the points I've mentioned before (sketches lacking form, taking too long to clean up and make proper; general lack of form; circles cylinders in perspective) I think I've found a gem in this book.

    I'm going through the exercises one by one in the book "Rapid Viz: A New Method for the Rapid Visualization of Ideas". I scanned in pages to make it easier to go over them in photoshop, but figured that it isn't that good of an idea to include them in full size here so shrank them down a bit to make them unreadable.

    I'm getting bodied by this book, but I find the exercises to be really healthy. I've spent ~10 hours in total yesterday and today on it and I've still only scratched the surface. Exercise 1.25 (converting 2d images into complex 3d shapes) took me six hours to complete.

    One thing I find rather funny/sad is that when I do freehand ellipses they tend to come out looking better than when I do the proper "circle in a square" approach. I'm obviously missing something here.

    This book should keep me busy for quite a while I reckon. It feels like the medicine I need, but it's such a bitter one that I can barely stomach it. The harder the struggle the better you feel when done though!

    EDIT: upon getting further into the book it starts to go into areas I have little to no interest in, and away from the purpose of what I'm trying to do or get better at. Guess I'll have to figure out something else. Hmpf.
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    Last edited by ili104; July 12th, 2016 at 06:56 PM.

  19. #138
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    More circle/ellipse stuff.. Like I said in the last post, for some reason the "mechanical ellipses" aren't working at all for me, so I went back to Scott Robertson's approach instead, and redrew all the ellipses freehand that I had finished yesterday. Some of them still look off, but it can mostly be attributed to the boxes holding them being off in the first place (heavy distortion or just vanishing points not lining up).

    Read how to ensure/check that the cube keeps the right proportions in perspective by drawing an ellipse to check, which is kind of neat. I think I'll spend some more time with circles and spheres along with intersectioning objects tomorrow.
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  20. #139
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    Added ellipses to the cubes I did a couple of weeks back. (first batch done plotting the lines, second done freehand). Also did some 1 minute gesture using a brush pen.

    EDIT: added some 30 second gesture.
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    Last edited by ili104; July 16th, 2016 at 06:16 PM.

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  22. #140
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    A quick painting, along with the greyscale base for my next one. I've been busy for a few days with very little time on my hand, so just did something simple. 2.5 hours in total? Either way I don't like it. I think the sketch worked much better before it was made into colour and it just looks dirty now + reads wrong. Sigh. The gesture is lost and it looks stiff, and the hair is just confusing to look at. The more I look at it the more annoyed I get.

    More things to complain about: colour choices overall are weak, with many parts being too saturated, and the cold/warm relations aren't even close to consistent. I didn't do multiple thumbnails trying to figure out a pose or anything but just "went with it" (like I used to do until two months back). I didn't have any plan while drawing the sketch (was just focusing on the drawing) so when it came to actually painting it I had no idea how to proceed, since I hadn't really thought about it. I tried to just paint it "the normal way" first but it looked incredibly boring so I repainted it and spiced it up a bit.

    The only thing I find positive about it is that it'll reduce the pressue on the next painting, because it can only get better.

    I think the next one has more potential though, and I'll see about finishing it tomorrow.
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  23. #141
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    The fundamentals aren't for show.The reason we practice basics are to implement them into our pieces and reduce unnecessary thinking time. I see no difference from your page one drawings and your last page drawings. I'm going to start on a finished illustration tonight. I would like to have your critique. I do have been busting my ass on the fundamentals and can't wait to use what I learned.
    "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...-You-Can-Do-It

  24. #142
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    Aaand done. Focused on the lightning, form and texture on this one. I like this one quite a bit more than the last one. Roughly 7 hours from start to finish. I also played around a bit with the idea of exaggerating differences: big vs small, light vs dark, intense vs neutral, soft vs hard, round vs straight simple vs complex.

    The block-in I started with was easy to work from because I had an idea of where I wanted to go with it, and could quickly move into the "polishing stage". I find that generally if a painting "works" an hour in, then it will be smooth sailing. On the other hand I've had a large amount of sketches that just look dull from the get-go and then I end up spending a lot of time at a later stage trying "to make it interesting". I'm sure I'm not the first one to think about this lol, but it's just something I've noticed. There are a few examples where I feel like they've looked like crap up until the last 30 minutes, but the amount of duds are far greater.

    The next step should obviously be to just throw away the paintings that don't work instead of trying to save the sinking ship, but I'm not clever enough for that, heh.

    Problems I encountered:
    - as always the hands and feet were giving me a hard time
    - the colour of the hair and skin were getting really really close, to the point where it was hard to (at a glance) see where one began and the other ended. Ended up warming up the skin a lot and making the shadows much redder than they were originally (could probably have made them even more red tbh)
    - Satin satin satin... How do you get the "feel of satin" when it's viewed at a distance? I tried to introduce more specular highlights and push the contrast between flat areas and borders more than usual but this is clearly a point that could have been done better.
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    Last edited by ili104; July 21st, 2016 at 03:26 PM.

  25. #143
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    Did a bunch of quick drawings today (10-15 minutes each) from reference, focusing on getting the general rhythm/gesture but more so on the lower part of the body. Always have problems getting the pose to come together (all parts "fitting" into one gesture).
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  26. #144
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    A couple more.
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  27. #145
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    Today's batch.
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  28. #146
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    Really amazing and inspiring sketchbook!

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  30. #147
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    @Dantama thank you! It's comments like these that make me really want to push myself harder.

    I've been thinking about the back of the knee and how (and where) the muscles that shape the silhouette connect. I included a short diagram showing how I've been thinking (not sure if I'm correct though). Either way the muscles start higher up than I thought, and end lower on the tibia/fibula, which explains how and why the volume of the leg changes when you bend the knee vs. having the leg straight.

    I've been studying leg anatomy before, but I think just "learning the muscles" by itself has very little value compared to learning why the leg looks the way it does, and how it changes in motion. I studied anatomy the other way around, learning the placement and shape of muscles before focusing on the important overarching principles like weight distribution. If I could go back in time I'd do it the other way around for sure.

    I had some time over before filling my daily quota so did a bunch of 30 second gestures as well. Still a long way to go, but at least they look better than the last bunch I did a couple of months back (http://i.imgur.com/3ioQctb.jpg). Also did a quick skin study using a much more red and saturated tone than I usually use, to see how that would turn out.


    Today was the last day thinking about leg anatomy before I move onto something else. I was going to paint something proper today, since it's been 8 days since my last actualy piece, but my mind is drawing a blank. Sat down and tried some things but it didn't work out at all. The more time passes between uploads the more pressure I feel, which is both a good thing (because it drives me to try and perform even better) but on days like today all it does is make me hurry through the initial drawing, and with terrible results -- just like you'd expect (causing even more stress). One part of me realizes that all this pressure is just nonsense, and that practicing areas I lack comfort in is an excellent way to spend my time. The other part won't hear anything about that and has this irrational fear that I'll "forget how to paint" if I don't produce enough. Obviously nonsense, but still can't shake the feeling away. We humans sure are a crazy species.
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    I've been gone for two days doing other things, but worked on this new painting yesterday/today. It has quite a few problems (the actual painting itself but also the process).

    I made a concious effort to go into colours earlier this time around, instead of hammering out the greyscale and spending too much time on it. I have a nasty habbit of merging layers too early, and making too few copies of the main layers, which became really obvious when I was about an hour into the actual colouring of the piece. The tons of minor changes I had made when going from greyscale to colour (anatomy, proportions etc) had made the overall painting a lot weaker, but the only copy I had of how it looked before was a 50% .png file. So I had to not only manually "undo" most of the changes I had made, but also lost an hour of progress.

    The painting was turning way too contrast heavy -- the blacks were literally 0-5% black. Just a solid mass of nothingness. They are still really dark, but I almost merged down the curve layer (and thus erasing a ton of brushstrokes etc). Stopped myself in time though.

    I was going for a much cleaner style at first, with very little variation in the hue/value in the lights, but it looked a lot more boring than I envisioned it would so I went back and tried to bring out the details. It's surprising how much more realistic and defined an area can look after going throuhg it with just super slight value differences, making it less of a solid colour.

    I made the skin colour darker and of a redder tone (though not as heavy as the "test body" I did a post above) and even though it's by no means good, I think that area is a step in the right direction compared to the last one I painted.
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  32. #149
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    And another painting, started this morning and finished in the evening.

    Felt like doing something more "standard" anime style, but challening myself by doing it without using any of the lineart. I used only one brush: a round brush with transfer/other settings turned off, and just shape turned on. I blocked in where I wanted the shadows then used a soft eraser to make the gradations. I always have a hard time knowing where to begin the gradation when I'm painting the "normal way" (i.e. a brush with opacity setting on) compared to making really sharp shadows first, and then blending parts later. Not saying this is a good example of the technique, but it's what I used.

    I haven't done anything this methodical in a while. Basically put down the base colour and form for all the colours individually, then did the shading on individual clipping layers. The pose looked fine until I got into the shading part, and now the lower portion doesn't read as well. Hmpf. I think I sort of managed to get the difference in texture on the thicker tunic and the thinner (and then even thinner!) skirts. Could be better but at least they don't look exactly the same.

    The biggest headache was figuring out how how have these many saturated colours (teal, yellow, purple, blue, red) and still have it fit together somehow. Another thing was that in an earlier version I had a really strong light source lighting her up from the top right, but it made it looks a lot more dramatic and less "cute" so I ended up adding a bunch more. They don't make sense if you look closely (well you don't need to look so closely...) but they served their purpose.
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  33. #150
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    Personally, I think that your latest picture done 'the normal way' looks really effective. The shadows work well, and the hair looks really strong. Probably not what you want to hear because you are trying to push in the other direction. But when it looks good it looks good. That said, #136 is your best work so far with the more textured look. So I guess all the study stuff is paying off.

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