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Thread: Scale texture quandary
February 19th, 2007 #1
Scale texture quandary
Not a particularly original drawing, I guess. However, I registered here on a whim and because I'd like some good hard critique on my scale texturing technique. While I'm experimenting on it I can't be all tied up in creating interesting creature designs, y'know.
You can critique the design itself if you like, but be forewarned that I know I drew only one of the brow horns. I have some limits in my artistic skills and I didn't prepare for the eventuality of having to draw the fartest one...
February 20th, 2007 #2Registered User
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Your scales, I think, look more like a fish's scales.
For example snake scales:
They kind'a taper off at the end.
February 20th, 2007 #3
February 21st, 2007 #4
Notice the round parts of some of the posted reptile pictures; round body parts often are characterized by intersecting helixes that spiral around the length of that particular body segment. (like the neck of the Croc or legs of the iguana) this will look like a diamond pattern. If you round the bottom points of these diamonds towards the tail of the beast, they can give the impression of overlaping plates. Does that make sense?
February 21st, 2007 #5
And in areas around the head, or along the spine you could use larger, more hornlike scales, they will make the head more massive feeling as well as saving time without having to line out so many scales and help break up the repetition by providing shapes that you can contour. Maybe like a cluster of bony horns on the brow rather than the two spike covered in horns. they look kindof like feelers or moth antennae. But othewise your understanding of shape and the paths the scales follow do give the viewer a convincing sense of the creatures actual form. Keep up the good work!
February 21st, 2007 #6
I think that you should do less scales on the head, and put them on his body/neck. You should do some scales on the bottom jaw if you want, just, I don't think that they look as good on top. As JAG pictures looked like. Keep it up, it's looking good!
February 22nd, 2007 #7
Since the artistic response will take a while as I am going overboard with scales might as well show some other of my tries at texturing scales for your evaluation.
All done in ball point pen except for the last. Excuse the crappiness of some and the size of others.
Now for responses... And thank you all for the helpful critiques
Kaffeekränzchen: Yeah, they kinda look like gar scales, though I wasn't trying to imitate that pattern. However I'm not trying for snake or lizard scales, as my main interest in illustration are dinosaurs and they have a somewhat peculiar skin pattern.
Why didn't I go for that instead? The mysteries of the human mind
JAG.: I'd rather go overboard when I'm trying to set my technique straight about scales, as getting the base pattern right is more important for me now. Thanks for the examples, and I took my cue from crocodilians.
KLEVR: Thanks, and I do get your drift. I'll be sure to take your pointers into account, however the horn and cheek spike are depicted so since I'm trying to develop my scaling texture technique further. It wouldn't be much sense to start wasting time in texturing horn, would it?
Lycan: Thanks, I'll be sure to. However people have said to me I should use smaller scales on my drawings so...
February 26th, 2007 #8
Ok, well here's the thing. You have to approach textures in general with some sort of battle plan as to how far you're going to take the piece. If you're just doing inked line drawings then I'm going to go ahead and say that you've put way too many scales on all of these drawings...all of them. The trick here is to put just enough indication of scales here and there to give the illusion of the line drawing possessing texture. Less is more in this case. For example if you have a reptile with many tiny scales all over its face then just draw a few sections here and there with those small scales. Theres no need to draw every one of them, especially because light and shadow will highlight some of the scales and make some not visible. Furthermore you need to use varying line weights. A scale will have a thicker line of the part of it furthest from the light and a much lighter line where the light is hitting it. However line drawings really are not the best way to go about studying scale texture. Think about it. When you look at a reptile's scales your eye isn't processing every scale....it's just taking in the light reacting to many small reflective surfaces and the light not entering those dark spaces between scales. So perhaps you might be better off doing value studies of scales instead of very tedious linework. This is about forms and light interaction, not drawing every individual scale. You're shooting for creating the illusion of a scale texture. I admire you're persistence but it wont be fun after awhile. Hope this helped.