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  1. #1
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    Background Art / Random Doodles

    Hey everyone,

    from now on I'll be posting random doodles or sketches I make here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  3. #2
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    Right now I'm out of town, and my portable set-up doesn't work. What I want to do is post my digital studies here; any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  4. #3
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    Gonna be working on this for a little bit. Starting off by blocking things in.

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    Any advice would be helpful!

  5. #4
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    Your studies of those dudes are looking really good! I'm especially impressed by the drawing of the foreshortened legs. But I do have some suggestions if you don't mind.

    When you squint or zoom out, indeed the overall values and drawing are really close. But I want to point out that it's not just matching values of the photo. You have to turn form using what you know about light and shadow.

    Form is made of tiny gradations in value and you tend to exaggerate every value change just slightly, maybe 10-20 percent. But when you do it everywhere, it really adds up.

    For ex. the shadows in both pictures are really flat. I mean really flat. There's reflected light, but you tend to exaggerate it by maybe 200% in some places on the first one. Similarly, the lit part of the torso in the second actually doesn't have a lot of value change. The value changes that indicate the smaller muscles are so small, they are almost imperceptible. A slight indication of them is already too much.

    I suggest starting with flat values for light and shadow, like I've done on the foot. Then carefully making the transition between shadow and light. This makes up the majority of the form.

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  11. #9
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    I'll definitely try that out tonight, thanks. There is a lot of rushing going on, since I try to do these studies in about an hour. That's part of the problem, but I'm trying to learn not to get so far ahead of myself with these studies. Most of my time last night went into overworking the chest and some of the legs.

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    Yeah, I wouldn't expect you to have a fully finished study in an hour, but whatever limited information you do include should be right, I imagine. Like maybe you only have the light and shadow blocked out for the whole figure and a few parts modeled. For me personally I get a lot more out of it by doing it that way.

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    I see...I'll try it from that approach. My typical goal was to try and have the whole thing "finished" within the hour. Tonight I'll do a study where I try blocking out the primary lights and shadows instead, and see where that gets me.

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    Your tip really helped me out. Things went a lot smoother than they usually do.

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    Whoa that looks really good!

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    WIP based on one of my personal photos.

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    You seem to have trouble with observational accuracy. I've dealt with that for a long time. Recently however, that seems to be changing. A great deal of my problem just came from working with photographs. They are highly inferior reference. Beyond terrible for what the artist needs to grasp. Another issue was not practicing enough. Now I'm the weird guy who pulls life-size highly accurate replicas of human bones from his lunch bag at work and chuckles darkly in the corner while rubbing his hands together. I look at the bone all day and make small studies between jobs. That kind of practice is really helping. I'm going to join a life drawing class eventually. What you're actually looking for can be found by mentally separating the elements of what you're drawing into manageable fundamental practices to focus on before moving to the next "practice". I.e. Big to small, general to specific, gesture before anatomy etc. Stick to working in that kind of order. Become aware of the moment and begin to feel the gesture. Feeling the gesture is where your accuracy lies. Gesture is the proportions. But it's critical to be in mindful, aware and present when doing this. Once you're in that state and have an idea of what gesture feels like, then you can just relax into it and let your eyes and arm do the work. Litterally. You don't have to do anything. It's auto pilot of a sort.

    Staying in that meditative awareness is the hard part. Try practicing like that. Just stay focused, but detached and uncaring about anything but discovering the form with your pen. I think you'll like the results.

    And for the love of all that is holy invest in some good bones. And wrap your mind around gesture drawing.
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    Bucket List: Finish reading those books, Get a fish, Astral Project, Eat responsibly, exercise more often, save money, squint, poke at young people with a cane, talk about good old days, sputter and wheeze, hack and cough, adjust dentures

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    I don't think I can invest in good bones, or risk bringing life-like human body parts to my work, but I'll take what I can get.

    Seriously though, I'm trying to train myself to stay focused and detached while working on these studies. I think I'm trying "too" hard if that makes any sense. Not in the sense that my work ethic is next level, but that I let the smaller details distract me from the bigger picture. Again, it's something I'm working on.

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    That's the whole issue. Gotta train your mind to recognize when you're noodling the details instead of looking for the bigger picture. I find meditation to be immensily helpful for training my awareness.

    Bones are a must if you actually want to get anywhere with anatomy. If you do get some get disarticulated and cast from real bones. They're worth more than they cost. Personally, I'd like to dissect an actual human corpse one day, but that seems unlikely and a bit unnerving. Other people want to go sky diving.
    Sketchbook

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    I appreciate your words Mattyt. I have little to say, since you already know what you're doing.
    I'd like to see you sharpen some of the edges of your studies. And I agree with the advice to flatten either shadows or lit areas.
    May I ask why you (seemingly) not use blending modes, or lower-opacity brushes in your colour studies? I find that style of painting abnormally difficult to pull off.

  22. #20
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    When I'm doing studies I try to paint as close to how I'd work on a real canvas as possible. I use those things for regular illustrations, but using layers, blending modes, opacity settings, etc for studies distracts me a lot. In that way it's easier for me to just open up a program, pick a brush, and try to replicate what I see.

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  24. #21
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    Okay so I think the study with the cars and buildings is pretty damn good, something I would of grown bored of long before reaching that point. But - we need to talk about your little fruit nut people. And the fact that the purple one kind of looks like a penis head - or a butt. Golden rule, if something can be interpreted as being phallic imagery, you should probably change it. I do like the vibrancy of the woodland environments that I assume they inhabit, quite nice and storybooky. But, dix.

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    The plum dude? You know, I never really saw it until you brought it up...now I can't unsee it! I don't necessarily mind that though, since I don't draw him so often anyway.

    As for the buildings - I want to get into background illustration for animation, so it's not as boring for me. It helps to take a break from certain projects though. They could be better, but that's what I'm practicing for!

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    Sorry about that, that being said, I do like the characters. I like that they all look simple yet all seem to have their own personalities, it's good. But it's cool you know what you want to get into. And there's probably more of a need for background artists as most people want to pursue characters and creatures and stuff. What you've shown so far is quite nice.

  29. #25
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    Blocking in shapes and colors.

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