Sketchbook: Sketches and Studies by Craig Houghton - [11/16] - Page 14
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Thread: Sketches and Studies by Craig Houghton - [11/16]

  1. #391
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    angela - many thanks

    gauss - I just wanted to respond right away to let you know that I really appreciate the crit. I'm hoping that this version isn't quite as dark in the shadows. I'd overlay'ed a napkin texture ( i scan my watercolor paint-soaked napkins), and I hadn't realized how it was dropping out the shadows. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll have time to revisit this. In the meantime I changed the 'napkin' layer. As for the perspective/workflow, I had used a poser set-up as ref for the initial drawing to get that perspective. It's ref-only though with all painting/drawing from scratch. It's a crappy poser ver anyhow (poser for artists - really ver 4 - brand new for me though)

    Thanks again!

    -Craig

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  2. #392
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    WOW was that weird, haha.

    I was scrolling up this page, and I see the tunnel picture. I stop short and think, "wait a second...that looks exACTLY like..." and then I see the title image...("!!!") and then I check your location...

    Nice work from a fellow CT'er! heheh

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  3. #393
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    you're quite welcome it does look better already, with the napkin layer alterations. you should be happy about the level to which you're rendering from refs, because even though you didn't actually use it as a base, the dwarf's face and other elements (like the hands) look very much like Poser. i'm sure it was a boon in setting up that perspective, but overall i think the task now is to loosen it up and place your own stamp on the material.

    i've used 3d elements or other such reference to good effect, but i've found the trouble is that it tends to subconsciously limit where you go with the piece. the orc looks great, but i think the dwarf's head really bears this out... he looks too clean and 3dish. he needs HAIR!

    both the orc and the dwarf need another pass or two on their armor/clothing, too--these are also a little too basic and plain, they're not as attractive as they ought to be. the orc's got a few nice ornaments, but they're not prominent enough to really grab the eye.

    i really like how the brief description you give emphasizes the dwarf as a grubby hangers-on, while the orc is clearly a rare beauty--everyone has seen a scuzzy guy with a beautiful girl in a bar, why not play that up?

    i also don't think the framing is really doing you any favors... with the perspective it's a very vertical kind of composition, but you've framed it square, which robs the image of a lot of good flow, bringing the eye to inessential parts of the frame (table, bg).

    alright well since we're all artists and typically communicate best visually, i did a quick paintover. hope you don't mind--this puts all i was saying in (hopefully) a much clearer presentation



    edit: i couldn't help myself, the idea of a dwarf with a comb-over made me laugh too much

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  4. #394
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    fire - glad to have another local stop by!

    gauss - I'm appreciate, and I'm humbled. The comp, the clothing, and the unity... it's exactly the sort of piece I have in mind but never manage. I'm blown away by the lesson here. Everything I do is so damned controlled. Lately I've become seriously frustrated with an apparent innability to just relax and open up with things. It's probably fear of screwing up. Instead of rendering, planning, and tip-toe'ing I should be exploring on the page and leaving myself open to new directions. I'm sure I was self-limiting in relying on a ref like that. It's true that I ran out of time before adding the 'spark' to the dwarf and such, but that's where I should be _starting_ -- it's not something to just throw in at the end. Generally speaking, I can draw from ref (and life usually) like a machine and I know my mediums well enough, but I have no idea how to let me guard down and just paint. It's hard to believe how long it takes me do anything. If a stroke looks fluid and unplanned, it's only because I thought about it to no end before-hand. I need to relearn how to make art (or at least something close to it).

    I've never had any art instruction other than crits here and there and what I've self-taught. Your paint-over feels like a loaf of bread in the hands of a starved kid. I'm glad that I've made it as far as I have, in general, but I need a friggin teacher. ahh well.

    Many thanks,
    Craig Houghton

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  5. #395
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    well that's why we're all here, eh? glad it was so helpful--don't get down on yourself for not being able to complete the image that way you'd imagine, ALL of us are there most of the time and it means a lot to everyone on their own path to have a little helping guide. i'm just glad i was able to help out in this instance.

    part of what made it so easy for me to swoop in and paint-over your piece was because you already had such a strong foundation going. and if there's anything the big movers here at CA.org teach well, it's that the foundations of the image are very important.. you start out with shit, you'll probably end up with shit. you might need to do a lot more work on it, but for you it's like building a house that has all the walls and roof already built--all you need to do is decorate it a bit more.

    if you're talking free and liberal strokes, then just go ahead and do them! i know that sounds trite, but there really is no reason you shouldn't with digital workflow. it's hard to get rid of the feeling that each piece is 'precious' when you're working traditionally, but with digital, you should have no such reservations about ruining your piece, because it's impossible. i think you should save out a new iteration of that piece and just go to town, safe in the knowledge that you can always back track if you'd like. which is why every digital artist should always use incremental saves.

    so get in there and tear shit up with big, bad brushes. i had an industrial design professor that insisted that, when starting with a new tool or a new type of medium or paper, you should test the limits. break the tip of the pencil, tear a hole in the paper from pressing too hard. max it out. once you've calibrated the maximum, you can scale back and do your 'real' drawing...

    the point is, you can take off the safety net--it's easier than you think. especially with digital art when your progress, which is what you're worried about, is in absolutely no danger. so open up that orc piece again and have at it. keep the fingers off of undo, pull the foot off the brake.

    ok, enough of the coach-style pep talkin' you're self taught this far and, with a helping hand here and there, you'll continue on your road of artistic development. this much is sure. so just keep asking questions, doing those very helpful master studies, but also maybe do some more sketches without reference.

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  6. #396
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    OK 3 times on the same page <> woot <> workin' the Chow <> those are much the same as professional assignments you would get on the job <> the difference of course is that you would do dozens of roughs and have dozens of meetings on the roughs <> then you make some revisions and tighten up a few <> more meetings of course with people who were not up all night working on the stuff <> then more revisions and more meetings <> then you would begin to flesh out the concept, dress em', access em' and of course mo meeting <> that is all for now have to go to a meeting

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  7. #397
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    Great work up. It seems like you're beginning to standardize some of your faces, female at least. You might work on some life portraiture to liquefy the line and add the variable. Keep on it.

    Sketchbook

    Don't miss the rise

    This is actually Wolverine's sketchbook
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  8. #398
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    gauss - Many thanks for the pep talk and the solid advice. Now that I've finished my funky little scratchboard attempt I'll break out the big brushes and see if I can't slash my way out of the safety net. I suppose everyone is a teacher and a student at any given point. Thanks for stepping up to the plate.

    mentler - that's a lot of donuts and coffe. you remind me though, that I need to draw a bit on my inner revisionist. I have to fight so hard to have time to do art that I rarely leave myself more than a single night or two for any given piece. Many thanks for stopping by, again!

    Listing - You're right. Many thanks.

    ---------------------

    You'd think that I'd be bright enough to try for something simple the first time I attempt a new medium. Well, instead, here's a scratchboard portrait.

    first attempt at scratchboard (go easy on 'er)





    Thanks for looking!

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  9. #399
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    hey man, i came to your sb after voting for you in this/last weeks COW, your stuff is great!!
    that scrathboard looks pretty sweet, i was amazed by the detail on the lips in the zoomed in view, nicely done.

    "KEEEE-YYYAAAAAAHHHHHH B!TCH!!!!" - Ed Wuncler III, The Boondocks
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  10. #400
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    this1 - that's encouraging, many thanks!

    ------------

    I'd forgotten to post these along with the scratchboard -- probably because she doesn't look anything like em' Nonetheless, I'd like to get in the habit of posting more of the roughs.

    hasty marker study and initial drawing used for scratchboard


    -Craig

    Last edited by Craig Houghton; July 13th, 2006 at 06:23 PM.
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  11. #401
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    I like the last grayscale stuff a lot (the scratchboard and the markers), really cool, and I can see you're changing the usual female face a bit Great!
    The CHOW entry is also nice, but it is too evident that you used poser for ref, and some of it's flaws passed to your piece (specially the weirdness of the arms and hands joints). Poser is great to use as ref for lighting and for some tricky poses, but don't rely on it too much.

    Cheers!
    entdroid

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  12. #402
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    Hey Craig
    Well that's what i get for not looking in here for a while. I seemed to have missed another leap forward in your abilities.You commented on "only" getting as far as you have without a teacher. Well I know that helps, but honestly you are making good progress on your own and with the help of CA etc.
    Keep going like you are and you will do better than many people that do have teachers in person. Just don't fight it, let it flow as much as possible

    Craig

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  13. #403
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Houghton
    kestrel hatchling -- acrylic 7x9 awww



    -Craig
    Put some highlights on the eye and this will be my favourite in this thread.

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  14. #404
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    entroid - many thanks for the comments. as for poser, it's new to me, and I'll definitely take it's advice with a grain of salt

    Craig - Many thanks for the encouragement, Craig

    Jeri - After finishing that up I regretted not resolving the center of interest. it's all over the place. I think I'll shine that puppy up.

    ----------------

    I'm on antibiotics for strep or some other sort of tonsilitis, but nonetheless..





    Thanks for looking!
    Craig

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  15. #405
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    lovin the lovely ladies man...

    "KEEEE-YYYAAAAAAHHHHHH B!TCH!!!!" - Ed Wuncler III, The Boondocks
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  16. #406
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    You handle your media well LLLLL::::: Get better <> hard to work when you don't feel well <><> of course some meds lead to interesting results

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  17. #407
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    Really nice update, I love it
    I hope you get better soon!

    entdroid

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  18. #408
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    i never had the patience for watercolor. that piece seems to exhibit quite a good deal of control, nice work

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  19. #409
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    Damn Craig! You go man! very very nice colours on that portrait!

    -PJ
    Keep the child alive...
    Dare to Believe Sb
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  20. #410
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    hi craig! great stuff you have here, I really like your watercolor pieces, and that orc lady is very lovely!

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  21. #411
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    Lots of new things since I've been gone Great stuff as usual
    Get better soon.

    SKETCHBOOK SUPPORT GROUP XXV

    Truth is stranger than fiction

    CA
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  22. #412
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    Beautiful work Craig! I loved your chow entry. Have never seen your sketchbook before. Thanks for the inspiration. I especially like your animals and the 5 hr figure study.

    "The progress of learning is from indefinite to definite, not from sensation to perception. We do not learn to have percepts but to differentiate them."
    J.J Gibson
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  23. #413
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    this1 - i love drawing them!

    mentler - many thanks. I just hope everything else about my work catches up

    entroid - all better!

    gauss - thank you.

    comix - glad you like. I was trying to force in some more color.

    faux - thanks for coming by!

    sleeper - I appreciate the kind words. I'm glad you stopped in.

    -------------
    I've been on vacation in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. The water is too cold to touch, but we had a great time taking day trips around the area. I've been going up there since I was a kid -- it's a bit too familiar, but there's usually something unexpected to do.

    ok, an update

    an aborted sketch/drawing


    a couple of bumps on a log -- the shell and the rock. these were both quickies done on the spot, but they're all I managed to do while in hampton beach. It was a busy week.





    for the sake of practice w/ values I played around with these two in painter. by limiting the brightest brights and darkest darks to specific areas I tried to keep the works from competing with themselves value-wise. I wanted the viewers attention to be drawn instead of scattered. the mods are fairly subtle in retrospect.





    and here's a new one from last night. a mic in oil pastels 5 x 7 for the sake of value reservation practice


    Thanks for looking!
    Craig

    Last edited by Craig Houghton; July 31st, 2006 at 10:51 PM.
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  24. #414
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    Craig: I'm so glad you're back!
    Love the sketches!
    The touch-ups I'm not so sure. I think you should have left the brighter values on the top of the bird, although the darker shadows are nice. On the girl, the values are good, but I think you lost saturation in the process, makes it look too grey-ish. The mic is really nice.
    My advice is: play with colors! Add more saturated, different tones! Don't be afraid to mess it up, just try it on painter, put some more pink, oranges and yellows to that girl! I learned a lot on skin tones (I'm not saying I've got it nailed down or anything, but it was really helpful) reading these thoughts on skintones in the tutorial section of Linda Bergkvist's website, maybe you'll find them usefull as well.
    Welcome back, good to know you're all better now

    entdroid

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  25. #415
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  26. #416
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    Great stuff Craig!

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  27. #417
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    Entroid - Many thanks for the crits. I've seen that skin tone tutorial page. In fact, I've used it as a dropper-tool palette in the past. At painting time I used aliz and raw sienna as the base with cobolt, viridian, cad yellow, and cad red for the warms and cools. I'll certainly try punching it up a bit -- can't hurt.

    eazym - thanks!

    draw - I appreciate it!

    ----------------------

    this isn't a fairy. well, maybe it is. but, it's off of a concept from a possible game project I might throw myself into -- I haven't decided. it's not a paying job, but it could be fun. bigger hands, arms, and eyes for navigation and interaction under a forest canopy. Legs tuck in and a traditional stabilizing cloth unravels behind the creature for stability (think kite tail). Shirt fits around wings -- I figured it could be put on by stepping into it like a hoop, positioning it around the waist, twisting the end to make an uneven figure-eight, and then placing the loop end around ones neck. legs tuck up during flight because, well, I have a thing for birds.

    oh, and the wing stems (two sets) are prehensile, like a ridiculously strong quartet of tails.

    I may bother going back to render these up, but for now..







    Thanks for looking!
    Craig

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  28. #418
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    Great concept craig! I think you could exaggerate the hands and feet even a little more though.

    SKETCHBOOK SUPPORT GROUP XXV

    Truth is stranger than fiction

    CA
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  29. #419
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    These are really nice!
    On the second image the legs are really short though.
    The first full body image is gorgeous.
    Keep it up!
    entdroid

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  30. #420
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    faux - I think you're right.

    entroid - Gracias! They do indeed look short.

    ------------------------

    been enjoying the Snails song by The Format lately.. so


    btw, i'd forgotten how much I hate working on winsor and newton wc paper -- it's arches all the way for me. it's ridiculously rough in a bumpy don't-draw-on-me way

    Thanks for looking!
    Craig

    Last edited by Craig Houghton; August 5th, 2006 at 04:05 AM.
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