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Thread: Concept Art 101

  1. #241
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    What tatiana said! Also, you could draw yourself in a swimsuit.

    I can certainly sympathize with any parent who realizes their offspring is considering drawing themselves nude at the urging of strangers on the internet. :-P Don't worry, in a few years you'll get to pick all of your subject matter yourself.

    What are your dad's thoughts on taking a life-drawing class with other people getting nekkid? He might be more open to that given the alternative.

    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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  2. #242
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    Thanks, tatiana, I'll give that a shot! ^^ I've taken to printing up any and all of da Vinci's anatomy notes I can find online, as well as other studies. I'll see if I can find a tabletop skeleton (that is, if I can afford one after all these commissions are done), and see if that helps any. And we don't have a zoo around here. :/ We have horses. And more horses. And then some chickens. >>

    Seedling, if I had a swimsuit I'd do that. XD I'm pretty sure dad has no idea that I was doing it at the urge of anyone I met on the Internet. I think maybe he just doesn't like the thought of someone finding it anyways. (I can relate to THAT. I don't need the kids at school to find any drawings like that. o_o)

    He's been open to the idea of me going to classes to do that for a while now, but the hour-and-a-half drive to one on Thursdays (aka, a school night) in Evansville is certainly an obstacle. :/

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

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  3. #243
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    Oof, that's quite a drive for drawing! If you've got a license and a vehicle available to you, it might be worth it. I know it'll play hell with your homework, though. :-P

    I tell you what, though - I'd trade a finger for horses and more horses and chickens! Go draw those. That's a mighty fine resource you've got, even if it seems dull to you now.

    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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  4. #244
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    Well, liscence will be soon.... hopefully... but I dunno about the vehicle. XD I'll just get to those calsses as soon as I can. ><

    ..but they're horses! And chickens! >< And chickens smell bad. XD But I'll ask if I can go to Krystal's sometime next week to draw ehr horses. Thanks, Seedling! (These Leonardo da Vinci anatomy sketches are *really* creepy, did you know that?)

    Which reminds me, I'm snipe-drawing today. *grin* Lunchroom, anyone?

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  5. #245
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    Woot for sniper art! And about those horses in particular. Look at all of the illustrative art through history. Horses are the second most common animal included, right after us hairless apes. If you ever want to paint fantasy scenes, you'll need to know horse anatomy.

    *whines* I want to play on a farm, too! ;-)

    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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  6. #246
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    XD Aww, Seedling. Just come out to Kentucky... they're EVERYWHERE. --;

    And that sounds about right. Horses, humans and.... birds! Whaddya know. Looks like those chickens will be put to good use, and not just for dinner! (Mmm, thanks for reminding me. I get to make rotesserie chicken for dinner tonight.) Unless I can use a frozen chicken? XD

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  7. #247
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    Cooking, too? Damn, girl, is there anything you can't do? :-)

    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.

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  8. #248
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    >_>;; Get a life, that's what I can't do. XD I cook all the time. Spaghetti, chicken, tuna casserole, anything on a barbecue, sushi (if that even counts...), prime rib and brisket. And then some. XD My sister does all the baking. I hardly have time to draw though, because I have to cook alot and we have to do chores and homework as soon as we get home. Plus, my little sister's disabled so we have to take care of her too. @__@ School and drawing are my only real repreives.

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

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  9. #249
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    Of course sushi counts as "cooking". It's hard to make!

    Hang in there kiddo. Life gets exciting when get out on your own. And you'll be used to a crazy schedule, so life on your own will probably be easier for you when you get there.

    [edit] We should maybe take our yakking to PM so the thread doesn't get too cluttered. ;-)

    Last edited by Seedling; April 27th, 2007 at 01:57 PM.
    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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  10. #250
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    What Should I Include in my College Portfolio?

    Everyone who goes to an art school goes through the agony of deciding what to put in that scurvy admissions portfolio! You’re not alone. Perhaps this will help.

    First of all, you should know the difference between a student portfolio and a professional portfolio. A professional portfolio exists to show a potential employer that you are able to fill a specific role. So, if you are applying for a job as a modeler/texturer at a game company that makes sports games, then that portfolio should contain a lot of sports subject matter and it should contain a lot of models and textures. The portfolio should be very specific.

    As a student applying to a college, you need to show the college that you are capable of growing into any number of roles. So, your task is to put together a portfolio that is general, rather than specific.

    Different colleges and different art programs are going to be looking for different things, of course. First and foremost you should listen to what the college tells you to put in your portfolio. That trumps anything I could possibly tell you. And if you are applying to a particularly “fine arts” program, or something specific like an architecture program, this also may not be a helpful list for you. This is a guideline for programs that are more illustrative in nature, such as, well, illustration programs.

    Assuming that you want to go to a school that teaches something vaguely illustrative, and assuming the college doesn’t have a lot of specific instructions for you to follow, here are some guidelines.


    Show the college that you have a handle on specific academic art skills, such as color, value, composition, sculpting, and drawing (the illusion of 3D in a 2D space.)

    Show the college that you have worked in a range of mediums, such as pencil, acrylic, collage, PhotoShop, clay, etc.

    Show the college that you can produce good work in a variety of time-frames, from sketches to projects that took dozens of hours.

    Show a variety of subject matter. This can include non-representational subjects as well as representational.

    Show a variety of styles.

    Show art with a variety of sources, both from life and from imagination.


    If you are just now looking through your existing body of work, try putting a post-it note on each and listing out the various things that each piece of work demonstrates. An example post-it might say “style – impressionistic; subject – architecture; time-length – long” or “time-length – quick sketch; subject – human; source – from life”. Once you have these things listed out, you can pick out a set of images that cover as many bases as possible.

    If you start this process early enough to create art to fill your portfolio, you can give yourself assignments that very specifically fill in gaps.

    A few additional things to consider. . .

    Subject matter. Chances are the admissions folks will most want to see work done from life. That is, work done from direct observation – no photographs, no fantasy subjects, just you observing something through your eyeballs and maybe a mirror. The admissions folks are likely to also be delighted at the inclusion of non-representational work – paint smears or collage that demonstrates your good sense of color or composition. What the admissions folks are likely to biased *against* are dragons, space marines, fairies, and other from-imagination subjects. This is because chances are you don’t yet have the basic academic skills to pull of anything that complex successfully. Your lack of skills will be exposed in such work, and you want to be showing the admissions folks what you know, rather than what you don’t know.

    More about subject matter: drawing people is good! If you have the opportunity to take a figure-drawing class, those sketches will be one of the best possible things you could put in your portfolio. Other avenues to investigate are drawing your friends, drawing yourself, and drawing pets.

    Styles. Impressionistic, realistic, manga, Psychonauts, Art-Nouveau, Disney, Ukio-e. These are all existing styles that have a name pinned on to them. There are also plenty of possible styles that don’t have names. You can arrive at a style either deliberately or accidentally, and either path is fine for individual pieces of art. Just make sure for your own artistic growth that you don’t commit to just one just yet. The admissions folks are going to want to see that you are exploring stylistic possibilities.

    Another note about styles: highschool students have a tendency to include detailed, tight, realistic pencil renderings, sometimes with the graphite ground into the paper with yellowy human skin oils. Layer you will look back on these drawings and cringe at how belabored they look. The pencil is a lousy tool for making a finished, highly shaded piece, and fingers don’t make good blending stumps. What pencils do well is make lines. Try other mediums if you want to get into filling surfaces with values, or shade loosely with cross-hatching.

    Source. Avoid including art that is copied directly from photographs, particularly if the photographer is someone other than you. The admissions folks will know that you copied a photo, and they will likely not be impressed. (How do they know? Work that is copied from photographs, when done inexpertly, just stands out, and usually badly. Give it a few years and you’ll develop an eye for it, too.) What you *can* use photos for is inspiration; for guidance with a tough or inaccessible subject, such as portrait of a famous figure; or for inclusion, such as in collage.


    Now don’t panic if you are just now assembling your portfolio and your art doesn’t cover all of the things I’ve listed. And don’t panic if you break my rules. I doubt there will be any admissions folks who print this out and make a checklist of it! Each reviewer will have their own crazy checklist. And the admissions folks aren’t expecting you to already be a master of all things. They know that the reason you are applying to the school is that you want to improve.

    Beyond everything else that I have already mentioned, if you’re just darn good at something and you love it so much that you want to make a career of it, go ahead and put it in your portfolio. My own portfolio was full of dragons, and they let me in to college anyway!

    Best of luck to you. Now take a deep breath and don’t panic!

    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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  12. #251
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    Excellent advice, Seedling!
    Makes me wish I was just starting out again and going straight to art school from high school...well, almost.

    t

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  13. #252
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    Hey seedling, good tips on portfolios,

    I'm abit ambivalent when it comes to portfolios though. Ofcourse you should put your best pieces in it, but still, I might have to do 50 pieces that are so and so before I hit the spot and create an artwork that is good enough. What I'm trying to say is, with only good pieces in your portfolio you might not live up to expectations once you are hired and if you only have images of a quality you absolutely know you can reproduce, you might not get hired.
    I struggle mentally with this.

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  14. #253
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    Woohoo! Just what I needed. ^^ Thanks so much, Seedling! I think this will help a lot with those dang portfolios.

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

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    Amazing thread, helped me so much, def gonna try these things

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    Seedling & co. - thanks a bunch for this awesome thread! definitely learning alot and i havent even gotten through it all... now that summers here ive decided its about time i put thought into action and actually get back into drawing more seriously so hopefully ill start posting some garbage soon!

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  17. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wasker View Post
    Hey seedling, good tips on portfolios,

    I'm abit ambivalent when it comes to portfolios though. Ofcourse you should put your best pieces in it, but still, I might have to do 50 pieces that are so and so before I hit the spot and create an artwork that is good enough. What I'm trying to say is, with only good pieces in your portfolio you might not live up to expectations once you are hired and if you only have images of a quality you absolutely know you can reproduce, you might not get hired.
    I struggle mentally with this.
    While you're right to some degree, a portfolio is supposed to be your best possible work. It should show what you're capable of. Employers will bend and twist you and most often won't let you do your "best" work, because of timeframe/resources/specific theme/etc but showing what you're capable of and what you understand is paramount. You're setting your current upper limit with a portfolio.

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  18. #257
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    And to add to that, anyone in a position to hire artists knows that the portfolio shows only an artist’s best work. If you show your mediocre work in a portfolio, they’ll assume it is your best.

    Replica and StompinTom – welcome to the fray! :-) Tom, even your worst work is not garbage. It’s a stepping-stone.

    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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  19. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedling View Post
    even your worst work is not garbage. It’s a stepping-stone.
    That's a very positive way to look at it. I had been looking at mine as the difficult stuff. The first hundred miles are tough, after that the motions become automatic and you can start to focus on the "fun" stuff and just let your skills take care of the rest.

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    Hey seedling, thanks for the contents at the beginning. This internet is confusing.... Anyway, I've been looking for some good study subjects. Will make sure to reply with some studies when I feel I put enough effort into the work.

    ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER
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  21. #260
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    Okay, finished 17 and 18! Spare parts one kinda went as planned... I always start with a jelly bean for the torso (more like a potato if it's for a woman) and then make a bunch of ovals. THEN I elaborate. XD However, I can't upload the sniped drawings just yet. >< They're all in my sketchbook, and since CA won't let me upload them twice here's the link:

    #17
    It's the second post on the page. #18 is on the page before that at the bottom somewhere. xD

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  22. #261
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    Lugh – you’re welcome! :-) I look forward to seeing your efforts.

    Chizome – woot! Those figures are great. They’re full of action! And the sniped poses are nicely done! If you want to upload the same image twice, save a copy with a different name, and upload the copy.

    You’ve got me inspired to write more assignments, by the way. Now I just need to find the time. . .

    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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    Value

    If I were organizing this class-thing properly, then I would have put the following assignments back at the beginning. Oops.

    “Value” is the amount of light or dark in an image. A black and white photograph is all values and no colors. I rather assumed this was common knowledge until just this past weekend, when I found myself attempting to explain the concept of value to a woman who had no experience with art. Value is black, white, and all of the shades of gray in between. It is “shading”.

    The following assignments should be done small and quickly! I’m serious: don’t agonize over these. They are intended to get you thinking about values and then quickly moving on with a new skill in your pocket. If you take too long on them, they’ll get boring; if they get boring, you won’t finish them, and if you don’t finish them, the assignments won’t help you as much.

    So, put on your sprinting shoes, and GO!

    ******Assignment #32 – Many Ways to Render Value*****

    Go through your house and find a hand-full of small, white objects. Look for simple shapes like a matchbox, or the lid of a tube of toothpaste, a q-tip. Set the items on a white sheet of paper, and point a strong light at them.

    Now, what are you drawing with? How many ways can you think to shade with that tool? Chance are you’ve got either a pencil or a pen. With a pen, you can shade by hatching (making parallel lines), cross-hatching (parallel lines crossing over parallel lines), scribbling, stippling, or making other funky little marks. This can all be done with or without outlining the subject.

    A pencil can do everything a pen can do. And additionally, a pencil can be gently rubbed across the surface of the paper in a manner that doesn’t leave lines. It can be removed with an eraser. It can be smudged somewhat using a paper stump, too, but don’t be tempted to rub it around with your fingers, because fingers are oily, and the oil will stain the paper and interfere with the particles of graphite. Use a scrap of paper to keep your hand from smudging up your drawing if necessary.

    So, you have your drawing tool, and you have your collection of very simple objects. Draw each object (and the shadow it casts) using a different shading technique.

    Be fast and loose! If you are using a pen, try this exercise without first doing any drawing with a pencil. Try methods that you’ve never used before. Try methods that seem absurd, like filling up space with little squiggles. Draw with clouds of cross-hatches just vaguely in the right place, disregarding edges. See if you can find a technique that’s quick and fun and that captures a decent range of values.

    ******Assignment #33 – Making Value Decisions*****

    When a photographer prints a black-and-white photograph, they make a very important decision: how much of the photograph, if any, is going to be the white of the paper, and how much of it, if any, is going to be the blackest possible black. When you work with values, you get to make the same decision. You can choose to make a drawing range from the white of the paper down to just a pale gray. You can choose to coat most of the paper in compressed charcoal – one of the darkest (and messiest) drawing materials – and leave only a few highlights.

    An image that ranges from white to gray is considered to be “high key”. An image that ranges from gray to black is “low key”. A “neutral gray” is right in the middle between black and white. “Contrast” refers to the difference in the image between its lights and its darks. An image that has both strong whites and strong blacks has high contrast. An image made of subtle grays, that avoids black and white, is low contrast.

    Pick another item from your collection of white objects. Draw it twice. The first time, draw it “high key” – meaning leave most of it white, with just some gentle grays for the shadows, and maybe one or two subtle dark spots in the darkest shadows. The second time, go for a lower key. Make the dark parts of the image massively dark, and make everything gray, except for the highlights, which should remain the white of the paper. OR draw the item first with high contrast, then with low contrast.

    There is no one “right” way to accurately draw value – there is only what you prefer to do. Which did you prefer?

    ******Assignment #34 – Shading Non-White Objects*****

    The point of drawing white objects is that A. there is no color to confuse the issue, and B. it’s really easy to see what the light does on the surface of a white object. But not everything in the world is conveniently white. So, take another trip around your house. Round up a black item and a gray item. Set these on your white sheet of paper under the strong light, along with one of your white items. And draw.

    ******Assignment #35 – Fun With Value*****

    You must be sick of all those dice and buttons by now! Time for some fun: invent a creature or a robot that has black segments and white segments. Think of killer whales and police cars as examples. And, using what you have learned. . . draw it!

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  25. #263
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    Assignments one and two

    Alright, heres a study for assignment one (the gasmask and boot still life) and the rest of assignment two (the man in the mask).. I drew it and basically colored over it in photoshop. Does anyone know if its a bad thing to focus primarily on drawing and composition before going head over heels into digital work? I try to squeeze some in here and there but I sometimes feel like im not doing enough with it :<

    Edit! oops all assignment one I mean.. starting assignment two tonight :>

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    Self portrait

    And this is the second assignment. took me 2 hours but definately a great learning experience :>

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    Nice work Angryswine!

    Watch out for those circles in perspective. They seem to be the biggest trouble-maker for you.

    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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  28. #266
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    Wow, Angryswine! Those are some really impressive pieces, nice work! Personally, I don't see anything wrong with the cricles, although the goggles on the second one seem a bit crooked; although, I like them better that way! It would look too.... well, I don't know the word I'm looking for, but it wouldn't look as good as it does the way it is!

    Seedling, I've done a couple of anatomy drawings from life with the tiny mirror, but about how many should I do, do you think? There's only so many poses I can do AND draw, and I only have one body type (I would hope o_o)... since I'm going to college in just a few months, should I wait until then and just take their life-drawing classes there?

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

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  29. #267
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    Hi Chi! Do them until you feel like they aren't teaching you enough to be worth the trouble, I guess, or until you get bored or until you start wanting to do something else. :-)

    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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    Thanks guys I agree Seedling, I just started doing some intense studies involving perspective.. which might I add your demo with the cube shapes proved very useful. Ill be incorporating those studies in drawings and trying to make things more clean looking. BTW I love your lessons, they not only are a confidense builder but also a good way to learn how to switch between refrences and imagination as well as a great challenge.

    Chizome - I got this book the other day called People and Poses by Buddy Calera. Its supposedly for comic book artists but the figures in it are real people, male and female and in some very challenging yet very unique poses, most of which would be great for expressing character emotions and the related. You should check it out, its been great (probably not as good as drawing from the mirror or from live models, but definately a great start).

    Edit - Buddy Scalera, if your interested

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  31. #269
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    Wow, thank you Seedling, this has been a very good read! I'll definitely be starting those assignments soon!

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    Eeew.. didnt do so well with this one. This is the building from observation to concept assignment. I wanted to play with some brushes in photoshop for some textures and such.. yet another cool assignment Seedling

    This just in.. Im going to post the ones Im pleased with only from now on lol.

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