fire starter (nudity warning)
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Thread: fire starter (nudity warning)

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    she started MY fire....
    figure, sky, look really good
    skyscrapers look too similar
    smoke is awful, theres no body to it, looks rushed.
    her face could use some lovin(no pun intended) specially her eye and cheek.
    area beyond the guard rail looks unfinished, like a wall.

    J.L. ALFARO


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    Wow..

    uhh,

    see my attachment please.

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    I disagree with some of what JLAlfaro says. I agree that the sky is really nice looking, good hues; but I dont think you are there yet with the figure. Her body seems to lose shape around her waist. I think you may have the buttocks too high, and need to work on the hips and waist area so that it reads a bit better. Looking good tho, hope to see updates!

    Nick

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    PS-

    Using flash photography for reference

    BAD IDEA.

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    The lady looks like she was pasted on the scene! No lighting!? That's horrible. The background is beuatiful!! THe colors and everything! But the lady ruins it. You need to show the hues of the fire and smoke and everything on the lady, too. And, man, the anatomy is all wonky here. Her butt is where her hips should be...Where are her hips? Waist? The shoulder blades don't look like bones but a sag of skin. Her butt is kinda huge, unless that's what you were going for. And the colors of the layers of folded skin on her side should be softened, or else it looks like cuts or scars. This is a wip, rite? because her shading looks really unfinished. Especially her hands. Thy're just a blur! You should kind of 'flesh' her up a wee bit more. You only used a few colors on her skin. Use more! A lot more of diferent hues/saturations/ and all! And do something to the rail thing...Did you use some paint bucket thing for that??
    Don't! It looks awful.
    Justin Oaskford did a wonderful paint over for you.

    Justin Oaks

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    Yes, Justin's OP is definately a huge improvement! I would take that idea, and expand on it more. Good luck!

    Honest, I don't try to be an asshole, it just happens!

    http://evildragonfire.blogspot.com
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    thanks guys, you are all a big help, i appreciate all the critz. Justin Oaksford, thanks for taking the time and do a paint over. I did use a picture from a magazine. In the future how else can i do it. Its not like i can hire a model to pose for me. i think my problem is i found a pic of this girl and i tried to use her for something, so i put her in a scene.

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    Well, looking around you and breaking things into planes is an easy way to think of lighting. One thing that would make a difference is taking more time to make sure your pic looks GOOD. Compare it with the reference- things are obviously too low or too high, they always will be. But you need to get it "good enough."

    Eventually you won't need reference to see what is wrong.

    Go out to the mall and draw people- not for any kind of "piece", but just to get better at drawing people. It helps to use as few lines as possible, as well.

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    "Well, looking around you and breaking things into planes is an easy way to think of lighting." when you say planes you mean surface of the figure or buildings in this case.

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    I'll disagree with what people have said about not using flash photos or magazine photos as reference... these things are fine so long as you know what you're doing.

    There's nothing wrong with using reference from any source when you're working... the trick is not to be a slave to it. As a general rule, the more artistically successful a photo is, the less useful it is as direct reference (they can be great for ideas or costumes or patterns, etc)... this will often rule out magazine photos, which of course are done by professionals. Flash photos can be great, but you can't just copy them. To do what Justin Oaksford has done (use your copied woman and changed the lighting) is a perfectly good way to go about it.

    I would say also, that body type (big boobed, voluptuous) with that hair, with that kind of pose, and that come-hither look tends to scream "I used PORN as reference!!!" .. which usually is not what you want. The way to get around it is just to use the reference as a guideline. Personally, I think a woman starting fires like that is apt to be bonkers, so she could have a much more deranged look on her face (rather than as though she's saying "lookie at my bum! *giggle*").

    Perhaps she could be thinner, more wasted, greyer skin tone, stringy hair.. maybe with running mascara or something? Maybe instead of being totally nude, she could have scraps of shredded clothing on her. Maybe she could be holding a lighter to make the fact that *she* started them really obvious? Or ash on her from where she frolicked in her own destruction or something I mean, there are big fires everywhere.. there ought to be ash around. The lighting Justin O has suggested would go a long way, but you could push it a lot farther and really make this piece scary.

    Anyway, I think it's a good start I really do like how the background is shaping up.

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    What I meant was.. especially in this light situation, trying to render the figure's lighting as it is in the photo isn't such a good idea; Until you have tons of experience, drawing from photos is a crutch, not a booster. Many artists take their own photos with lighting set-ups made for illustrations, but using any random mag photo doesn't work as well as your own. Not to offend, but I figured due to the way in which the body was rendered and it's misproportions, I should denounce flash photos NOW so that later, when they get more mileage, they will realize how to use them better... Like alot of people tell me not to do something at all, but then I find out later that it's best to use it only a certain way (that I probably wouldn't have unerstood.)

    Sorry if I was unclear =P

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    Technical art stuff aside - what's the story here? I read it as "naked woman gleefully watches city burn". Only the title tells me that she started it. And why oh why is she naked? Aside from the funness of painting her nude, what is the point?

    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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    You are quite right about that, Justin! If you do what you did by changing the lighting and don't just *copy,* I'd say it's a'ok. If the artist in question has trouble with just copying the reference, I agree whole-heartedly they shouldn't use it until they're more skilled in getting their own point across. I haven't seen enough of pixmaker's work to know whether he's that sort... one piece doesn't usually tell you much.

    Reference helps.. it doesn't do the hard bits for you. That's the important thing to know.

    Pixmaker: In the spirit of that, I would suggest checking out Andrew Loomis's Figure Drawing for All It's Worth. Copies can be bought on ebay, though they tend to be pricey. There are PDFs floating around the net too. It teaches you the important things about using reference and also drawing from your imagination. Invaluable book.. possibly best figure drawing book ever written.

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    You guys are absolutely right, i know i got a long way to go. here is my problem with this image:. I found a pic of a girl and then I decided to make a scene around her. (as now i see thats my mistake) rather than creating the concept first, and then find reference images. But now im confused, should i or should i not draw from photographs?

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    It is better to draw from life for every possible thing you can. ALWAYS.

    Photos are acceptable, but they are not as useful as reference from life- why?

    Because Cameras have 1 eye. We have 2. Life > Photos. Once you get good enough at drawing from life, you learn to modify your photo reference to add more form.

    Photos are like a "Crutch". They can help you to walk but they hurt you in the long run! (Whoops.)

    Last edited by Justin.; January 3rd, 2007 at 02:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Oaksford
    Photos are like a "Crutch". They can help you to walk but they hurt you in the long run! (I love puns.)
    That's no pun, silly.

    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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    pixmaker, I don't think Justin and I agree totally. It's definitely always always always best to draw from life (that's pretty well universally understood), but not everybody can get a nude model for various reasons.

    Best way, I think, is to draw from life however and whenever you can (even if it's just getting your friends to pose for you) and also draw from imagination. So long as you're doing both, your drawing from life will likely inform what you draw out of your head, and drawing from your head is practice that will make you better at both.

    I would agree that until you are pretty strong in your life/imagination drawing, you should probably shy away from using much photo reference.

    However, I'm not gonna lie. Photographs are a tool that can be convenient to use on some occasions. The times that are appropriate are generally those where you have an idea in your head for a painting, but lack the right live model for it and aren't sure enough in your imaginative figure drawing to draw it completely from scratch. Or perhaps you need anatomy reference. It is always best to take your own photo for this.

    Whether you do this or don't, the rule is always *do not copy the photo*... that's never ok. Take what you need from it and discard the rest. It is a guideline, not a blueprint. Add other elements, change colours, poses, lighting, make figures thinner, fatter, musclier, meaner, prettier, anything, but don't stick to just what you see. Once you get strong in your imaginative drawing skills, it will be easy to make these adjustments.. until then, you might find yourself relying on copying it. That's bad. For examples on how to use photo reference the right way, check this thread in the lounge out.

    Ultimately, it's up to you to choose what's best for you though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Oaksford
    It is better to draw from life for every possible thing you can. ALWAYS.

    Photos are acceptable, but they are not as useful as reference from life...
    Sometimes photos are far more useful than observation from life. See Muybridge, Eadweard.
    And Seedling's right, that's a metaphor, not a pun.


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    thanks tully, man i learned alot just from this thread alone. whoohooo....
    thanks to everyone for the critz. i looked into Andrew loomis and its selling for 175 on Amazon. wow, is it that good or is it just rare...or both

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    you're quite welcome The price doesn't surprise me... I think that's fairly standard. To answer your question, it's both that good and fairly rare. It's been out of print for quite some time and at the moment not seemingly likely to come back (unless anybody's heard anything I haven't!). Worth every penny though, believe me. Taught me so much.

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