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  1. #1
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    How do I git gud?

    I want to improve, but I'm not sure what to focus on. I've gotten the critique a few years back that my art looked "flat" and the colours looked "desaturated and bland".
    So I've focused a lot on improving how I use colour, and on thinking in 3d shapes. The latter I enjoyed so much that I've actually picked up 3d art as well, since last year.
    I feel like I've made quite a bit of progress, but I'm struggling to find out what I should focus on next. I would love to hear what you guys think my weakest point is.

    I think these examples represent my current level pretty accurately:
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by Zarra; March 1st, 2018 at 04:59 AM. Reason: Oopsie, transparency doesn't look great here.


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  3. #2
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    You have a great sense for developing appealing characters! The best way to improve is to study from (still) life. For instance, when doing some studies from white object you will discover that your bear's clothes can only look like that if they are emitting light, which they are not.
    Grinnikend door het leven...

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque View Post
    You have a great sense for developing appealing characters! The best way to improve is to study from (still) life. For instance, when doing some studies from white object you will discover that your bear's clothes can only look like that if they are emitting light, which they are not.
    Aww, thank you! That's really nice to hear! =)

    That's a very good point! I was thinking (daily) studies from life would be a good next step. But I wasn't sure if that was the most efficient way to improve.
    I'll keep in mind to include material and colour studies, rather than just line sketches of the shapes of objects and creatures (like I tend to do now when I do studies).

  6. #4
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    The first one is just a lo-fi piece and a regular piece, I don't think its conducive to put them together as if it suggests improvement. I like the deer, the unicorn is messy and has anatomy/proportion issues.

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  8. #5
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    I just want to say that I agree 100% with everything tecnhi said. All I can add, is that to me it seems your 3d is miles better than your 2d. The unicorn looks quite rushed but the 3d racoon looks great.

  9. #6
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    Alright, thank you!

    The suggested improvement was mainly in what I was able to do with the software. The left one is the
    first model I've ever made in Blender, and since then I learned how to do UV mapping, texture painting,
    rigging, etc. Sorry for the confusion. ^_^'

    Hmm, I guess I am a lot more patient with my 3d models than I am with my 2d painting..
    I never really thought about it, but I do tend to get bored with, and rush, my 2d stuff a lot.
    I'll pay more attention to that. Thank you!

    And I'll add anatomy sketches to my routine. I think that will help me avoid most of the anatomy issues.

    Thank you for your feedback!

  10. #7
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    P.s. Any advice on where to find reliable muscular anatomy references?
    The images I manage to find are always drawings and almost always inconsistent.

    With some common animals I manage to find photos, but with others it seems near impossible.
    I'm trying to draw a lion, but there seem to be no clear photos of skinned ones easily available online.

    Or do you generally look at a photo of the animals with their fur and estimate how the muscles underneath look?

  11. #8
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    Of course you look at it with it's fur, why would you look at a skinned one, thats gross.

  12. #9
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    :V Okay.. It's just a bit harder to estimate where all the muscles go when they have a lot of fluffiness going on.
    I don't think it's gross. But I'm a hobbyist taxidermist, so I might be slightly biased.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarra View Post
    :V Okay.. It's just a bit harder to estimate where all the muscles go when they have a lot of fluffiness going on.
    I don't think it's gross. But I'm a hobbyist taxidermist, so I might be slightly biased.
    Google animal musculature, and you're golden. As Ajams said fur tends to mute a lot of the forms from muscles on animals, drawing horses is a good way to get a feel for that though. quadruped animal musculature tends to translate form animal to animal.

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  15. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque View Post
    your bear's clothes
    Gosh. They usually get mistaken for raccoons.

    Well done.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_raccoon_dog

    -

    Agreed with comments about lighting and anatomy. The dimensions of your 3D tanuki are a bit hampered by the lack of any shadow, and watch out for ungulate anatomy, particularly the 'bendiness' of the legs and hooves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarra View Post
    P.s. Any advice on where to find reliable muscular anatomy references?
    The images I manage to find are always drawings and almost always inconsistent.

    With some common animals I manage to find photos, but with others it seems near impossible.
    I'm trying to draw a lion, but there seem to be no clear photos of skinned ones easily available online.

    Or do you generally look at a photo of the animals with their fur and estimate how the muscles underneath look?
    I'd generally consider Ellenberger a decent fallback. But... what do you mean when you say 'inconsistent'? Inconsistencies within a source? (Different views and such) Inconsistencies between sources? Any examples?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJams View Post
    Of course you look at it with it's fur, why would you look at a skinned one, thats gross.
    You wouldn't like some of my bookmarks. Here's one of the less gooey.
    ...which is only my opinion.
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  17. #12
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    Thank you tenchi24, I will practice at drawing some horses! Will probably help me with the hoof issue that Vermis pointed out as well. =)
    I love drawing hoofed animals, but I'm not very skilled at drawing hooves ironically enough.

    Vermis, I didn't want to come across snarky, so I didn't want to correct people on the species of the raccoon doggy. ^^'
    And haha, I'm glad I'm not the only one that uses gooey irl references. I was starting to feel bad. =P

    My issue with the lions was mainly with the shoulder and upper arm area..
    https://i.pinimg.com/564x/39/bb/45/3...tomy-study.jpg
    Here's the Ellenberger one.
    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/08...g?v=1479759790
    Here's a 3d model of one.

    There are quite a few differences, mainly in the shoulder and upperarm area, which is exactly the part
    that confused me the most on photos of lions as well haha.

    Like, if I try to trace the muscles groups there, I get very different results from each:
    Name:  image.png
Views: 1119
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    (But maybe I'm just doing it wrong)
    Last edited by Zarra; March 2nd, 2018 at 12:39 PM.

  18. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarra View Post
    I love drawing hoofed animals, but I'm not very skilled at drawing hooves ironically enough.
    At least you realise cloven hooves involve two digits - I've seen minor pros who think that means a horse's hoof with a chip out of the front.

    And haha, I'm glad I'm not the only one that uses gooey irl references. I was starting to feel bad. =P
    If you're drawing animals, reconstructing old ones, or making up alternative ones, it can only help to know how they're put together!

    (But maybe I'm just doing it wrong)
    Well, not to harsh the buzz...

    It seems that in tracing, you're going over individual lines and shapes without a lot of understanding about what they are or how they fit into a lion's shoulder. At points, you've put muscles and attachments just far enough out of place so that they don't mesh with those around them, or even left them out. Here's a bit of gap-filling...

    Name:  lionatomytips.jpg
Views: 1079
Size:  161.2 KB

    My flubs aside, I hope that helps clear up a couple of things. I know well that a lion's shoulder looks like a confusing slab covered in zigzag lines. It's useful to think of it in terms of muscle masses (triceps, deltoids etc.); the points of the skeleton they attach to; and what they do. Knowing a bit about mammalian anatomy in general (plenty of human and horse resources around) can help to interpret the similarities and differences.
    I used my own copy of Ellenberger, too: that pinterest image was a bit small, fuzzy and washed out to make out much detail. (The key to that 3D image ain't too legible either) That might've also been part of your problem. If you don't have it, I'd recommend it as a starting point.

    And of course, live reference (might be easier to come across than dead reference, in this case!), videos and photos.
    ...which is only my opinion.
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  20. #14
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    Thank you so much, Vermis! That makes a lot more sense!
    I'll learn to understand what I'm seeing and I'll get the book. =)
    Thank you for your help and thorough explanation!

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