This may not be the best way to do things, but it is the way I've been doing things I'm still learning too!
My buddy Zord asked me the other day,
"I want to improve at digi. painting and i'm stuck. Any tips on improvement?"
I says, "photo or master copy in grayscale." One of the best ways to divide and conquer; you'll learn how to better use your tools as well as ace your values.
We both went looking for a good photo to work from (we ruled out master copy for the minute as often the capture quality makes it difficult). I remembered some great photo sets available at CharacterDesigns.com. http://www.characterdesigns.com/inde...page=photosets
Thanks Hong Ly!
I then set this up for Johnny; Attachment 148168
I grayscaled the ref and tweaked the values a little more to increase the contrast between light and dark. The idea is a 1:1 copy as accurate as possible. The swatches at the top are a range of white to black in 10% increments, the first swatch is white and black. Both the Photo and Swatches are on their own layer which is then locked. Level lines can be used to check proportions by clicking first on the ref, holding shift and drawing horizontally.
1st is Johnny's, 2nd is mine. The idea here is to get some good bookmarks, landmarks or whatever you want to call them. Get something rough in with proper proportion and direction and use it to refine your drawing.
2nd is just some small corrections from me. Don't mind the fancy brush, that's just what I had selected at the time . Pay attention to subtle directional shifts and negative space. Use shadow shapes to help you judge larger shapes as well as break things up into more abstract and hence less iconic shapes. Mirroring is also a great trick.
Part Two: Refined Drawing
Wash over your sketch with paint the same color as your background. Keep it just visible enough to act as guidelines for your new drawing.
1st is Johnny's, 2nd is my correction.
Looking pretty good man, proportional, good shapes - but messy ! I recommended he switch brushes, just a simple round - no manual opacity but opacity and flow set to pressure. It's much more natural and much cleaner. Make things clear and definite, it will be all the more easy when it comes time to paint!
First off, i'd like to give much respect, thanks, and appreciation to Tom for taking his time and helping a brotha' out. I've recently hit a giant road block in terms of production- the general want to draw and paint was at an all time low these past few weeks. School, moving out, my final radio show and saying farewell to good friends took its toll. Sort of like an artistic drought.
But now i'm back and rejuvenated.
I'm siezing the opportunity to dedicate my time to learn and absorb as much as possible; this means more drawing and less time wasting.
Tom's explanations of the steps are right on. There are a few sketches in-between the first and last one he posted that's pretty much me getting warmed up to the tablet. Refining the drawing is what's going on. I'm paying lots of attention to the negative shapes; the area above the model's left arm, the spaces in-between her arms/torso, the area by the right arm, and also between the legs. Also watching the subtle changes in the curvature of the arms and legs as the muscles flex and tense. I had a lot of trouble in the beginning controlling the line weight, the lines being too "feathered" and whatnot. There was too much indecision about placement and not enough emphasis on getting it right the first time. Practice makes perfect.
And this is what i've got. It's far from perfect and not near where I want to start painting, but it's close:
Tom and I will update more as time goes on. The hope for the thread is to not only document the progress/help me improve but more importantly to give insight to others. Why not help others when you're being helped, right?
Yeah man, in my opinion - the student can teach things that teachers can not (though certainly not a replacement). We have the benefit of before and after perspective still fresh in our minds.
I think you are getting better and better, but again you are too high on everything! Check the shoulders and check the direction on the hands! It can help to make a mark from one shoulder to another for the shoulders. For the arms don't be afraid to use a single line to understand the whole direction. Another thing that may help is to visualize the mass of the legs and arms in a more cylindrical way (tried to show that a lil bit) Anyways - uhm, I walked away for like an hour ... keep it up!
Joel: Thanks man!
Tom: Much thanks for the tips. I didn't consider the cylinder at all. And I don't know what happened with making the whole body too high... must've lost my concentration for a bit, haha. Chairs!!!
So this is about pass 15.. i'm so damn close I can feel it!
[now that I see it on the forum the angle of the right arm is wrong as is the angle of the hands. The head is all screwy too. More work ahead.]
Good man, your lines are become more expressive. Hatching might be taking up your precious time, I might just outline the shadows and fill them in with a slightly darker tone than the canvas for now?
As you begin run some angle lines to get down some very important directions down as well as some good ones for measuring and judging your other shapes. The Tan lines are a few of those. The shoulder and hip angles tell so very much about a pose, you'd do well to have these initial angles marked on your page. Bust line is a good one too, with some exceptions it can give you a good reading. The Lines for arms is good to do as well - why do into detail if you don't have the general direction down? At the neck the line is just representing that you should gauge all angles! It's ok to break curves down into angles, just put them back together when you are done!
The blue lines represent imaginary angles, here they make a bit of an envelope around the form - which can also be a great way to start and keep your proportions in check. Imaginary angles are one of the very best ways to keep proportions in check actually, see the one from knee to knee?
Negative space (in red) is a great thing to check and tool to implement when you are having a hard time getting past your brains iconifying. The shapes between both of her arms and torso are obvious - but when you add the blue imaginary angles you also create new negative shapes that can better help you.
Can't wait to see what's next buddy, let me know if you are sick of this one yet and we can do something else/another one.
Much thanks Zimzibar
and, here's another one Tom
Some more revisions later, [i'm up to about 19 or 20] and this is what i've got. Taking into consideration the imaginary angles that Tom noted as well as lay-in-lines that give the general direction [e.g. - arms, torso]. Keeping in mind that I have to utilize new information with old: imaginary angles, lay-in-lines, and bust line combined with what I got from yesterdays session, negative space, curvature and flexion within musculature. I also got rid of that nasty gray that was hiding under all the draw-overs.
Before paints, just a few things that will aid us on the next step. The only thing that was really off drawing wise were the breasts, too high in your drawing. Shapes could be a little more exact and distinguished - clean up really helps with this as well. A more complete shadow outline is important too!
Hahaha, you make it look so easy Tom!
I think this may be the final drawing revision before I start painting. Adjustments were made to the breasts as Tom noted, they were too high. Tried keeping the lines cleaner than before, feathering = bad! I also paid more attention to shadow shapes as they lay on the body.
Nice work guys
but since you're at the computer already, may as well do the overlay as a final check. I think that you have to be carefull using crutches like this but, especially when you're working in isolation, it can help.
So before you go into painting too much, get the drawing down exact.
It really will help out in the long run
Thanks for the tips Craig! Tom and I were discussing refining the drawing to the point where it couldn't be refined, and then painting, like you mentioned. We also discussed how a major part of learning is making mistakes and then realizing what the mistake is and fixing it. We came to the conclusion that i'd learn more at this stage in this project to begin painting. Cheers mate!
And painting finally began! Used a small brush too early and BAM! Big mistake on my part. Will use a bigBIG brush tomorrow to relieve this. I'm also losing some of the drawing already, have to be careful of that. Will post more when the time comes. Cheers, all.