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Thread: Concept Art 101

  1. #181
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    More on Perspective

    I’ve been meaning to draw a perspective example for ages. Here’s my take on assignment 7. I drew it on printer paper, on my lap, with a folded pieces of junk-mail as my ruler. I mention that because a lot of folks don’t know what you can “get away with” in drawing with perspective. You don’t need a fancy drafting table and T-squares. Those things just make the process more accurate. For a sketchbook on the go, improv is dandy!

    For more on perspective, check out Perspective 101.

    Anyway, about this here drawing. Notice the mess of construction lines all around the cubes. When drawing in perspective it is important to draw those in and then leave them in. Yes, they are ugly, but this is a study, not a final piece. If I were going to paint a picture that included a complex piece of architecture, I would first make a drawing (or multiple drawings) of the architecture chock full of construction lines. When I finally got the architecture “right” in the form of a precise line drawing, then I would use one of several methods to transfer the drawing to the canvas.

    Notice also that only one of my vanishing points is in the drawing. That’s just the way it goes – you don’t necessarily get to pick where they go, not unless you want a couple of arbitrary dots to dictate what you create. There are various technical ways of successfully completing a perspective drawing in which those points are off the page – and there are also various untechnical ways. I used a second piece of paper to temporarily extend the drawing for some of those points, I used technical methods for not needing extra space on others, and for the remainder I crossed my fingers and faked it.

    “Faking it” will get you in trouble, especially if you rely on it to build your basic shapes. For instance, I botched the square hole in the bottom cube and had to erase it. It is all too easy to get to the end of a five-hour drawing only to realize that a guess you made in the first twenty minutes has made a subtle mess of everything. So, the more you know how to accurately draw in perspective, and the more time you spend getting everything carefully set up at the beginning, the better.

    See that ghostly cube on the right? That is how I started drawing each of the cubes: sloppily, without a ruler, from my head. The original drawings are still in there under the darker lines. I used those loose sketches as a guide. The locations of the vanishing points were dictated by what I had decided the cubes would look like.

    Oh, and drawing from light to dark not only prevents you from having to do a lot of erasing, but it means when you do have to erase, the lines come up easier. Scribbling in an entire drawing lightly, and then redrawing it in progressively darker and more detailed layers is an example of how to work from large to small.

    Anyway. . . I hope this information is educational and entertaining. :-)

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    Last edited by Seedling; October 18th, 2007 at 09:15 AM.
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  3. #182
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    i cant thank you enough for this i compiled your entire lecture into a word document and im going to print it to carry around and read when im not at the PC

    not sure how to add my sketchbook as a link but heres wher eits at yo
    Foodogs sketchblog
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  4. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadefoodog
    i cant thank you enough for this i compiled your entire lecture into a word document and im going to print it to carry around and read when im not at the PC
    I try so hard not to be susceptible to flattery, and then you go and say this. . . ;-) Thanks.

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  5. #184
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    Hi everyone! I'm new here and this is my very first post. I've always been browsing around this site, but never actually did anything.

    First, I'd like to THANK YOU, Seedling, for creating this post. It's very inspirational. Like I always believe, you're always lost until someone points you a direction. Thanks Seedling, for that direction.

    Here's my Stab at Assignment 1. Please, give crits, and NO SUGAR COATS allowed. 100% Truth can only lead to 100% Success. Thank you, and once again thanks Seedling.



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  6. #185
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    First part of Assignment 1, will follow up with second part a little later.

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    I just recently found this thread and was looking through it. The assignments seem really fun and I'm going to give it a try.

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    Hi everyone, This is my attack at Assignment 2. Thanks All!
    BTW, it looks exactly -100% just like me!



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    Assignment 1

    Done for the first assignment, it was the first thing I could think of.

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  10. #189
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    This thread really caught my attention. I think it's the thing to motivate me back into art and drawing. Recently, I've been jumping around degrees at my college and finally this semester I'm graduating with a liberal arts degree...Lame. I did a bit from Graphic Design, Arts and Computer Science The graphics was the most fun by far. Now I'm joining the air force, but I think this thread will be very fun to help me continue drawing with structure and purpose If I become good enough I'm hoping to go to Full Sail for 3D animation or Game design after the air force, but who knows thats 4 years away

    Thanks if you read my boring intro about me!!

    On to project 1! I gotta catch up

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  11. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling
    Chizome – nice work with the watercolors. It looks like you are in need of a big, fat brush! About working large to small: pretty much it means cover all of the canvas immediately with loose strokes from a big, fat brush. Then do it again with a smaller brush, etc. With watercolors it’s going to be a little tricky, because you need to know from the start where you want the white of the paper to remain unpainted. Now keep going with those watercolors! :-)

    So a big, fat brush for the bigger things, then a small one for details, is that right? ><; I have a few more assignments done, but I can't scan em yet. Hopefully tomorrow...

    EDIT: Okay, I lied.. kinda. >>; I scanned all of my stuff in yesterday and before I could save it, I had to jump off to finish my 19-page portfolio (If it were shorter, I could have saved my scans), and someone closed all the scans without saving them. So I get to do them over again today.

    Anyways, my question is this: Seedling, on the Self-portrait in arbitrary colors.... do you want us to do one monochromatic portrait in warm colors, one with cool, and then a few more where we combine different colors entirely? Like, after doing one with red and one in blue, we do one with, say, maroon shadows and blue highlights? And can we do one with three colors, like, purple shadows, orange highlights, and then in the shadows a sharp lighting on the edge of pale green or something?

    Last edited by Chizome; April 13th, 2007 at 09:00 AM.
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    Cow

    doing this showed how out of practice I am yeeesh.... Anyway took me like 20 min did a watch on my desk gave it tentacles. Looking at other people's images and wow they're great! I was wondering are you guys using photoshop to touch up and or color some of yours? I just straight imported my PoS

    Anyway Assignment #2 is next



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  13. #192
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    Hi everyone! :-) Welcome and hello again!

    Phaj ej xyooj – Now *that’s* a leap of imagination! :-) It’s fun, but going from a hot sauce bottle to a muppetty creature is a bit of a stretch. The point of the assignment is to use what you have learned from drawing the first image to draw something similar that looks just as good. In other words, a better thing to do with that Hot Sauce bottle would be to turn it into a glass Hot Sauce teapot. But anyway, welcome to the thread! I hope to see more of your work.

    Phaj ej xyooj again – Oh, you did stick around for more. Wonderful! :-) I hope you had some fun elfing yourself. Here’s something to think about with drawing faces: it is easy to think of an eye as being a football-shape with a dark circle in it. However, that sort of idea will cause you to draw an iconic eye-symbol instead of what you see. Try drawing shapes as you see them relative to other shapes. For example, looking at your face in the mirror, if you drop a vertical line from the left edge of your eyeball, what other facial features does that line cross? Then look at your drawing and see where that line goes on your drawing.

    Contemporaneous – Great start! Glass is a challenge to paint. Now let’s see the next step! :-) Also, go ahead and crop your image down so that you have a tighter, smaller composition.

    Divine wolf – Shoes are so full of personality, aren’t they? Er, you might want to feed that monster some odor-eater. ;-) Good job with the laces and the opening in the top of the shoe! (Hey, I painted a shoe this week too! I’m just about to go post it in my sketchbook.)

    LSFoxhound – Best of luck in the Air Force! And good job with that watch. :-) Circles are fiendishly hard, aren’t they? Keep rounding out the rough spots until they look as perfect as possible. Don’t worry about touching up a drawing in PhotoShop – it isn’t necessary. Keep going! :-)

    Chizome – any of the above. :-) The assignments are really just guidelines to help you get started. Pick what you think will help you the most at your current level, give it a try, and then evaluate whether it taught you what you wanted to learn. Sorry you had to scan your work twice! :-P

    Cheers all!

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  14. #193
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    Setting Goals for Yourself

    You know that feeling you get when you look at a picture made by your favorite artist, and you love the image, but it seems like what they have done is impossibly far away from your own skill level, and you have no idea how to achieve similar results? Every artist, even the best ones, have felt the same way about their heroes. Don’t let it get you down or discourage you from looking at the art you love.

    Whether you are attending a fancy art school, or you are picking up art skills on your own, you will need to set goals for yourself, figure out how to achieve those goals, and then do the hard work necessary to get there. The art that you love can help you to figure out what you need to study

    ******Assignment #31 – Analyzing Art *****

    Pick out one of those pieces of art that inspires you to be an artist. You can paste a copy of it into your sketchbook, or doodle a quick version of it. Then, make a list of all the things that the artist needed to know in order to make that image. You can even draw arrows pointing to those things on the image if you want.

    Attached to this post is one of the images that inspired me. It is an illustration from James Gurney’s book “Dinotopia”. Here is my list, and an explanation of each thing.

    Human anatomy. You have to know how humans are put together in order to portray them. From the research I’ve done, I know that Gurney takes photographs of friends and family to use as reference for his illustrations. But I also suspect that many of the figures in here are from his imagination. That means he had to know the human body well enough that he has a detailed model of it in his mind he can draw from when live humans aren’t available.

    Dinosaur Anatomy. Gurney had to do a lot of research in order to paint the most accurate possible dinosaurs. He didn’t just Google dinosaur images – he studied up on dinosaur skeletons, reconstructions, scientific illustrations, and he even used dinosaur toys as references.

    Acting. A story is being told here. Each of the humans and dinosaurs is an actor in the story. Gurney used body language and facial expressions to tell us what is going on. Even those blowing flags are actors of a sort. They are telling us that it’s a windy day out there.

    Botany/Landscape. Although trees and grass play a minor role in this image, if Gurney hadn’t thought about the way that grass is trampled on a race-track, then the ground wouldn’t have been as successful. Those bits of greenery tell us everything we need to know about what sort of environment this race takes place in.

    Perspective. Those tents were all carefully drawn in proper perspective before they became a part of this image.

    Atmospheric Perspective. The far images recede beautifully into the dust. This requires a knowledge of how to use color and value to represent particles in the air.

    Light. Every shadow in the image is consistent. The shadows on the tents were first drawn in proper perspective, before color and value was even a consideration.

    Value. Shadows are darker than sunlit areas. Once the shape of a shadow is established, value comes next. Gurney paints his images first in sepia tones. That is, he uses a range of browns to sketch in the values before he gets to the colors.

    Color. Color is the combination of the surface color of objects, and the light hitting those surfaces. In order to paint a shadow cast on a colorful tent, Gurney had to know what the color in the shadow would be compared to the color in the sunlight.

    Cloth. Gurney had to know how to make cloth look properly wrinkled in order to paint realistic flags and clothing.

    Costume/architecture/prop design. Gurney had to come up with all of those hats and saddles and tents. Many inexperienced artists think concept art is nothing but coming up with new ideas, but the truth is that design is just one of many necessary steps in successfully communicating through an image.

    Composition. All of the above elements had to be arranged in a way that draws the eye to the important parts, and that looks good as an abstract arrangement of shapes.

    Media. The final thing necessary to create an image is a knowledge of how to use a particular media. In this case, the image was made in oil paint.


    It’s a long list and it is full of tough subjects, but now that I have broken down this bogglingly complex painting into individual academic skills, I can study each of these things independent of the rest. My final goal may be to paint like James Gurney, but in order to achieve that frighteningly lofty goal, I now have a list of smaller goals that are more easily within reach.

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  16. #194
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    Finished the bones from a mastercopy assignment. It doesn't look so good because all I had was an anatomy textbook. >< And when I scanned it, it got all off-center. ><;

    But here it is. I'm painting today; hopefully it'll be done by tonight, because I'm sending out my portfolios for college. Oh joy. -_-

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  17. #195
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    Chizome - that's fantastic! :-) *distributes cookies*

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  18. #196
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    XD Thanks! *munches cookies* I'm actually gonna have the arbitrary portraits done tonight, and I'm also doing my first charcoal portrait of a friend. Is there anything I should know about charcoals before I begin? @_@ Other than that it smudges?

    You can be the best at what you do, but you've never learned everything about anything.

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  19. #197
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    You are an art powerhouse, Chi. :-) Charcoal: if you are using a lot of it, it gets on everything and it will add dust to the room. So if you have a place you can work that is more industrial-strength, such as a garage or unfinished basement, that's better for working. But you only have to worry about that if you are working large for long periods of time.

    If you use spray fixative, do not spray it indoors. That shit is well and truely nasty.

    Go wild, have fun!

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  20. #198
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    Spray fixative? I heard hairspray works. >>; I'm too broke to go to Michael's an hour and a half away.

    As for dust to the room, no biggie. I never go in it. XD Thanks so much for the help, Seedling. I really appreciate it. ^^

    You can be the best at what you do, but you've never learned everything about anything.

    My sketchbook!
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    hey! well yesterday night i gave a try at the first assignment ehehe hope to catch up sooner or later =)
    as for this one it was great fun eheheh i wasn't really confident a the beginning of the still life hehe but i enjoyed it afterall it was good practice and stuff =) and it also made my mind ready for more and more still lifes XD
    it's been a nice experience really and then drawing the concept from the still life was really nice aswell eheheh i drew it on the back of the printing paper i used for the first one so i could still see the basic lines of the lamp...i just used them as guides for the guy =) hope i didn't go to far with that...as long as it enlights stuff it's still a lamp afterall...i just didn't manage to give the senso of light coming from the head of the guy....uhm...probably too low shading on the rest of the body?...but again i was over the 1 hour and something so i just gave up =) i wanted to add a snowy mountain on top of his backpack well...next time maybe ..i really like the guy..and when i was drawing him...i was really feling something for him..heh i still do...his expression while looking at the map (which inspiration came from an old marvin the martian vs duffy duck sketch! XD) was really amusing me...hope i have managed to give this sense of "uhm....MAYBE i got a bit lost..." XD
    i've also made a self portrait for another purpose...and so when i'll draw the darkside of it i'll post both as assignment #2 =)
    things learned: Have to go faster...i spent too much time drawing the same line 24 times just cause i was stuck thinking of nothing =). i need a better line quality =) when a 2mm arm has 2 contour lines of 1mm each there is no space to add any detail or texture =p

    meanwhile here's assignment #1 cheers =)
    ps. images are both desaturated cause always end up with blue photoes =) next time i'll probably take a look at white balancement...or stuff like that.

    comments and critics are more than welcome! ^_^

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    Wow, pepps, that's incredible! I really like the transition. The modification has a Chinese/Hindu feel to it. Is that what you were going for?

    You can be the best at what you do, but you've never learned everything about anything.

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    phaj ej xyooj: heh i really wonder how that animal would look like without it's cap hehe
    i must say i don't like the eye...it's a bit to simple i think...maybe something shocking could be hidden inside that hole!! XP

    LSFoxhound: i really like your concept...i wonder though how it could fit a wrist XD uhm...or well probably it doesn't have to =) heh what's the black thing under the "E" can't figure it out =(
    Looking at other people's images and wow they're great! I was wondering are you guys using photoshop to touch up and or color some of yours? I just straight imported my PoS
    ha! same here! where does all the contrast go? =) my solution was to use a bit of photoshop actually =) let me know if you come to a better solution =p

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    ahaha thanks a lot, yeah! well i'm studying japanese culture languages art and stuff so i'm actually influenced a lot by orient =) also having watched lots of anime as formed me this way probably =) unfortunately i didn't remember too much of the architecture of shintou temples there =) but it gives the idea XD snow would have made it perfect!.
    Btw now that i have the chance i must say that i really liked you cat concept..ahah well probably other stuff also but this was got stucked in my mind XD uhm...since you were talking about anathomy books..while i was studying anatomy i found this site particularly usefull: http://www.getbodysmart.com/ hope it will be usefull is some way =) i had lots of problems trying to compare different books to have 1 right answer on what goes where, this site gave me a better understanding of it =) cheers!

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    Wow, that's a great site! Thanks, now I've got more to study from. XD I think your little Shinto guy there has a lot of potential. Place him in a mountain range, or beside a calm stream, or even on a cliff by the ocean. He'd fit into a lot of places!

    You can be the best at what you do, but you've never learned everything about anything.

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    heh thanks! well i was actually thinking of him as a super tall guy (see arms and legs (don't ask me how can he walk with so tiny feet =p))...i was actually thinking of putting some clouds at his feet and stuff like that but i didn't want to put too much environment in...it was intended to be a quick design exercize =p but in the future maybe i'll find him some new place to visit eheh he's a traveler afterall! =)...and maybe a new backpack aswell heheh his looks quite old =p

    edit: i kinda re-wrote history here...in fact that is by no means a shinto temple!!! it´s a buddhist one! T_T

    Last edited by pepps; April 15th, 2007 at 07:08 PM.
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    Oraaa! I'm still here and still working, yes. My watercolor portrait is at home, but though I can't scan it I will say this:

    The big fat brush is. Freaking. Amazing. I absolutely LOVE it, it helped it actually look good! The only problem I had is that while I was painting, my glasses had gone missing in Saturday's car wreck, so I was half-blind. >_0 Now that the wrecking guy found my glasses, I can try to SEE what I'm painting. XD I should have it scanned tomorrow, if Spanish homework hasn't swamped me.

    EDIT: Oh no! I forgot! >< The college nearest me has no life-drawing classes. Since I'm now in *shudder* Kentucky, and a small town at that, there's very few colleges around at all, and the nearest one that has life-drawing classes is an hour and a half away. I'm afraid my dad won't go for that, since we totalled the car Saturday and he gave the other car a flat last night. >_< He has bad luck with cars. I'm not too comfortable with drawing someone that I live with- because that means either my dad, his two friends that are helping us out, or my two little sisters. The kids at school out here are so close-minded, I doubt anybody would let me draw them nude unless it's some pervy-minded teenage boy. What should I do?

    Last edited by Chizome; April 17th, 2007 at 11:24 AM.
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  28. #206
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    Car wreck? Ouch! Is everyone okay?

    Glad you're liking ye olde big brush!

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    XD Yeah, we're alright. It was just me and dad in the car, on my way to take the ACT. But dad's going to court or something for the tags being expired (but we had no clue, it's his best friend's car) ><. Physically, we're fine. Dad's just got a headache and my neck's recovering from being extremely sore, but we'll live. XD

    Ye olde brush has helped me, bonny lass. ....Alright, that sounded wierd. But I'm really happy with it! ^_^ Watercolors are kinda bugging me though. They wrinkle the paper. >_0

    You can be the best at what you do, but you've never learned everything about anything.

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  30. #208
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    Take care of that sore neck! I'm glad nobody was seriously hurt.

    There are a couple of things you can try with watercolor. You can go get the thickest possible paper available (ask to look at samples at the art store, and it doesn't have to be specifically paper for watercolor). You can also stretch the paper. To do that, first soak the paper (in a tub, in the shower, or with a sponge), then use postal tape to tape it to a rigid board. Let it dry - it should pull taught. Then, while it is still taped down, paint. Let it dry again before cutting it off the board.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  31. #209
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    XD Sweet! I didn't know paper could stretch. I'll give it a shot after I've finished painting the map of Puerto Rico tonight for Spanish. >>;

    Also, what should I do about life-drawing classes? The closest I can get to is sniping. :/ I edited one of my earlier posts with a blah on my dilemma here. ><;

    You can be the best at what you do, but you've never learned everything about anything.

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  32. #210
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    Thick paper works best with stretching, I think.

    Got any artist friends in real life? You could pose for each other. In costume, of course, unless you're really good friends. ;-)

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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