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;
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.
Part Two: Proportional Sketch
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.
Here is another sketch, I believe you started over right Johnny?
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!
Hot damn man, getting better! Just had to bring everything down is all. Minor corrections. Might help to draw a line from shoulder to shoulder to determine the tilt