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I just got my first Wacom tablet a couple days ago, YESSSSSS! I am loving it. I hope that I will be able to become a competent digital painter and improve my overall skills it. To help me practice, I'll going to pick a large illustration projects to work on mostly. My first project I've decided to do is a fan art illustration of Sasuke vs Naruto. Here's my first progress sketch of Sasuke.
Tried figure painting for the first time. I was wondering if I could get some tips because I don't know wtf I'm doing I posted the progress in steps because I was hoping someone could fill in the blanks in my process and show me what I'm doing wrong or what I could do better.
I did take some fundamental painting classes a couple of years ago, so the most I remember is do the darks, then the lights, build up, and that the shadows are cool with warm lights. Beyond that, I don't know how to choose colors. I'm red/green colorblind so that makes choosing the midtones extremely difficult. I don't when a color should be more green or more red because they're the same value to me and value is the only way I know how to work. I know there's more methods of painting other than value but I don't know what they are
Last edited by daeyeth; February 7th, 2010 at 04:29 AM.
Goal: do a full color splash page in a day.
Things start out okay, but I start to realize how impossibly inefficient I am and that I have no idea what I'm doing when coloring.
I decide to try to keep it simple and flat colors, simple inking comic book style. I end up no where near there and wander off some cliff. I don't mind the result, but it's a waste of time at how long it took me just to get there.
I just spent an hour writing up a critique for you and right when I was towards the end, I accidentally reloaded the page and lost it all!!!! lol. I'm going to try to remember most of it.
I think you did a good job with the splash page. The last one worked out to be the best because you went through the trials and errors of making a painting and finally figured out what works and stuck with it. By no means is that a waste of time at all because now you personally know what works and what doesnt and it's something you can remember on your next pieces.
What I liked about the last one is that you simplified the colors to a good point where it doesn't distract from the story telling aspect of the illustration. I also like how the darkness of the alleyway frames one of the characters, that is a nice touch indeed.
A couple of things we will be working on. Anatomy and values. From now on, I dont want you painting colors for a while. Only in Black and white. The reason for this is if your values do not work, colors do not work. Later on, I can show you an easy way to put colors on a black and white painting but for now, I need you to understand the importance of values in a piece. Here are your assignments.
1. BW Still Life Painting - Set up a still life, nothing to complicated. I've used an apple on top of my sketchbook and a desk lamp for lighting. Observe how light and shadows form around shapes and objects realistically.
2. Figure Drawing Warm Ups - Every morning, I wake up and do some figure drawings on my sketchbook as a warm up. I go to www.characterdesigns.com and check out their photosets. From those photosets, I do some drawings of the models and try to fill up 4 pages front and back on my sketchbook. Some are gestural, some I practice my rendering. Mainly to understand how limbs attach to each other and how it all forms the figure.
3. Anatomy Exercise - Do this one in photoshop so you can do the next couple of steps. Based on references, paint the bones of the arm (humerous, radius and ulna) and study how they connect to each other. On a new layer, paint the muscles and see how that attaches to each other. On another layer, paint the skin.
So, I'd like to start putting in some deadlines for these but am not sure what is a good work time for you. For me personally, I think I can paint this in about 4-5 hours, with the still life probably taking most of my time. I think it should probably be more than enough time to give you a deadline for this by Wednesday? Sound good?
thank god no color lol. okay, thanks! ya wednesday sounds good. I don't have a scanner though so I have to do them all on the wacom to show you
Didn't take me 4 hours personally, I am rather slow.
I am disappointed in my still life and found out I really don't know how to properly use digital brushes. I went into Corel to use their charcoal brush but it wasn't acting like how I would expect it to in real life. So I changed over to Photoshop and tried to render it like I would with charcoal pencil, but I should not have chosen a glass for still life with the confusing reflections.
So I tried to use a build up method but found out I have no idea how to do it! How do you do the build up method? Also, how do you get the brushes to not act like markers? Or at least when I stroke over an older stroke, for the darkening of the older stroke to be softer and not as high contrast?
Plus, my muscles look awkward, yay. I should of used references where I could see the individual muscles and see where they connected. All the layered muscles confused me as I didn't know what was coming from where and just drew what I was looking at.
These are excellent! I am so proud of you. I was definitely in the same exact position as you were when I first started using a tablet and photoshop. I was so confused, and even to this day, when I open up Painter, I just end up staring at the endless interface it has, haha!
The still life is great, you can really see the range of values it has - from black to white. What I would say though is you need to start using bigger brushes. Go with the biggest brush you can possibly use then work your way to smaller brushes. Don't be afraid of them. This technique changed my whole perspective on painting. Basically you want to lay down your shapes as early as possible, then work your way down to refining the shapes, then small details. Another thing, too, is to not zoom in as often. I usually work about 25-33% zoom more than half the time and only zoom in when I really need to. You need to see the whole picture and not the tiny details it has.
The gestures are good too. I would advise you to do these everyday. I guarantee you in a couple of weeks you will see giant leaps of improvement in your studies. One thing to work on is to draw with long strokes instead of short ones. You're starting to get this feathering look because you're not confident with your lines. How I tackled that was by using pens in my sketchbook. I would draw with pens and it forced me to deal with my lines and not worry about it anymore.
The anatomy study is decent. Study the shape as accurate as you can and learn what it actually really does look like.
Later today, I'll try to make you a tutorial on techniques on digital painting and how to properly use your brushes in photoshop. So for now, your homework will be:
+ to redo the arm muscle study
+ more gesture drawings
+ another bw still life
If you want, you dont have to start on the still life until after I give you the tutorial. I'll set up my own still life and and write up a tutorial on that.
But everything will be due Saturday at the latest.
Good job, man! Keep em coming!
Much appreciated, thanks for your critique! okay, saturday.
About the still life, what type of brush should I use? Soft, hard? Should I change the opacity? Do I need to set it to pen pressure? What about the airbrush? There are so many different options I end up trying them and not really knowing what I'm doing with them.
Yup, definitelyYou're starting to get this feathering look because you're not confident with your lines.
I'll try that outOne thing to work on is to draw with long strokes instead of short ones. How I tackled that was by using pens in my sketchbook. I would draw with pens and it forced me to deal with my lines and not worry about it anymore.
That would be awesomeLater today, I'll try to make you a tutorial on techniques on digital painting and how to properly use your brushes in photoshop.
The thing about brushes, is that I usually only really work with about 2 or 3. Probably a couple of custom brushes for texturing but outside of that I really just about use a Hard Round Brush and a Soft Brush. Don't overwhelm yourself too much with different brushes as they will just confuse you and hold you back. Hopefully the tutorial below will give you some insights.
that was extremely helpful, thanks
Had much more success this time around, with both projects. Again, big thanks for the tutorial! The tips about softness and hardness and size was especially helpful. I mean, it sounds basic but seriously, I just needed to know where to start with brushes and I didn't know where to start from square one concerning the brushes and now I do.
I also feel like I understand the anatomy much better, thanks to the your references. I was using two different references for the muscles because I had started to put on the muscles but realized the position of the arm in my bone reference was different than my muscle reference.
I assume the gesture drawings is just my personal daily practice, which I'm continuing to doing. I've tried using more single, long strokes, but I'm still forced to use my sketchy lines as a base in order to get correct proportions.
Hey good job with that apple! Such a giant leap from your tea cup
I still would like to see your gesture drawings for critiques. If you can get access to a scanner, that would be cool. If not, maybe pictures?
I see that you have quite a bit going on with the studies, and try studying composition, perspective, and color theory when you get the chance.
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I'll just start doing all of them on my wacom. here are the studies I did on the wacom. couple gesture drawings, some anatomy studies, and another where I tried to do single strokes without a base (which I ended up transforming to get the proportions to look right)
Hey D -
Hope you had an excellent weekend. Thanks for posting your gestures.
Definitely keep working on your sketchbook, never lose that traditional touch. There's just this weird gap between digital and analog that sometimes feels like a switch in your brain. So keep on practicing on your sketchbook as well for your own benefit.
I really like the far right one when you tried to do with it long strokes. With that pose you can definitely feel more of a movement and energy vs your other ones. The other poses, even though they are gestural, seem rushed. Short strokes make the poses feel stiff and very unnatural. With the long strokes, you can tell that the shapes of the muscles are a lot more accurate to what you see vs what you think you know. Definitely be conscious of this when you are drawing your gestures next round. Also force yourself to do those hands and feet!!!
This week, we're going to keep on working with these exercises. The main goal is now that you know some new techniques, you need to feel comfortable with these techniques to be able to use it.
So what I'd like to see this week is more figure gestures. Make sure that you include all body parts! Don't worry so much about getting hands and feet for now, it's okay to let them be gestural. And I want to see some real effort on trying to make those lines work. Remember, smooth, clean strokes. Don't just do one page. Do this for at least an hour each day.
I really enjoyed what you did with your still life. Great job at that, man. Do another still life doing the same techniques. I'd like to see some progress shots of this and you should talk a little about each step.
Let's make this due on Thursday. So by then, I want to see AT LEAST 3 full pages of figures. More pages would be better. Use any reference necessary.
Hello friend! I wanted to introduce myself because I am sure we are looking at a long road of drawing and improvement together :]
My name is Alberto, I am 17 years old and from Brazil. I have been drawing for a while and Angelo recently decided to take me under his wing too!
So as to your work I have a few comments. I would suggest you to focus on mainly proportion and gesture. Some of your figures look stiff and that needs work! Anatomy studies are nice to do, but make sure you understand the underlying gesture and simplified skeleton first (as in over simplified ) I find this one book called Figure Drawing: Design and invention really helpful when it comes to this!
But what can i say! I am not that great at it!
Btw, I am liking the way you are pushing you line on the far right figure!
Keep up the nice work!
Cheers bro =)
EDIT: Loomis is great too!
Last edited by Saraiva; February 23rd, 2010 at 10:41 PM.
Please stop by my sketchbook!
hey, sorry about that, hope you got the PM
I separated the figure drawings into the ones where I was able to, or at least tried hard to, use single strokes. You said to "think" about what you're drawing and I've realized that's definitely one of the things that's crucial for me to learn, because I've noticed I really don't think at all while I'm doing the lines. I'm going to start practicing my lines before I put them on paper, something I never did before since I just double backed on all my lines until I found one I liked. I also need to look at whole picture rather than just a piece of it, that's probably why I'm having so much trouble with proportions.
For the still life, still can't get glass reflections right. I start out by trying to build up my values but around the second picture and the third, I really lose my method and I start focusing on individual parts too much or something. Do you build up your darks first, then lights? Both at the same time? I found that I started to jump around a lot, like building up a bunch of lights or darks in one small area so my values lost balance I think.
Hey Daeyeth, nice post! I am liking the last row of figure drawings! Dude specially the woman in clothes in the left. The line quality is good and you captured it nicely. I am sure if you continue doing work like that we will see nice improvements.
I feel like a few figures look a bit stiff, that would be my only critique.
Keep it up!
Please stop by my sketchbook!
Thanks. Yeah, there's a huge disconnect for me between the creativity side and the technical side. I often just end up drawing exactly what I see and am unable to apply the expressiveness into the poses.
Excellent posts! Seriously, such good stuff right now.
Yes! Lately this is what I've been doing as well. What I really look at is the shape of the whole thing. Kind of like, if the figure is a silhouette. Another thing to also look at are the negative shapes. Basically, like you've said on Alternative's sketchbook, is to compare the relationship of all the limbs to each other. I'll try to post a little tutorial on this later.
I, personally haven't figured that out yet myself. I think it comes down to everything you've ever learned, lol. It's all about the values, the edge control - some parts will be hard edged, while the others will be soft, and also opacity. Let's ask around the forums, I'm sure we can both figure it out.For the still life, still can't get glass reflections right. I start out by trying to build up my values but around the second picture and the third, I really lose my method and I start focusing on individual parts too much or something. Do you build up your darks first, then lights? Both at the same time? I found that I started to jump around a lot, like building up a bunch of lights or darks in one small area so my values lost balance I think.
In the beginning of the painting, I personally like to go some what dark but not full black) then build up. This is something that I've noticed with your paintings is that you have really harsh lights where you are using 100% white and really black shadows. Not that there isn't always anything wrong with this but when you do this, you loose the option of being able to use 100% black and white for the subtleties like highlights.
Also, I think it would be nicer to just make the background dark instead of a midtone. this way, you really see how bright that side of the cup is. I do think that you have excellent clean edges, especially on that plate. Is your light source pretty close to your still life? Try moving it around and play with your light setup.
As for your figures, you're killing me with the hands, man! haha. I'm going t make you do some hand studies for the next assignment just so you can get comfortable with it. On the other hand, your figures are slowly getting better. I think you're still drawing what you think you know vs what they really are. For example, your figures have the same shapes for the shoulder most of the time. Or both of their shoulders are up like they are shrugging. My favorite of this page is the sitted woman with the costume. I think I might have that same exact drawing. You've expressed a nice fluid natural arc of motion without losing the overall shape. However, I can tell that you're having problems with foreshortening as well. It's kind of hard to tell you how to draw without visuals, so I'll be making you tutorials on that as well.
I think you should also try doing some silhouettes of figures this time around. Basically just paint the shape, don't draw it with any lines. See if you feel more comfortable drawing figures this way.
Your still lifes are coming along real nicely. I think you might be ready for some colors soon
+ Experiment with figure painting (silhouettes) vs line art.
+ Do some hand studies
+ Paint a still life concentrated on studying reflections.
I would encourage you to post as often as you can, doesn't have to be one big art dump at the end of the week. I check often so I can critique you along the way
Like I said on the PM, this will be due on Friday. If you have any questions, let anybody know. Always be curious and check out some how to's.
Hey there buddy.
So I tried to make you a tutorial today. Which actually lead me to believe that it is very hard for me to focus on line art with my wacom. Sooooo if I can't do it, I won't make you do it. However, I still think that you should practice your line art in your sketchbook. Check out some figure drawing sketches from Janaschi and Algenpfleger. I won't check but it will be up to you get better at it. So instead of figure drawing sketches, we'll be doing speed paintings of figures. Just practice, practice, practice.
The tutorial below is a simplified explanation on values.
Thanks for the tutorial, how long should I be spending on these speed paintings?
I'll put more effort into the hands
Hey D -
The concept of speed paintings isnt so much on the amount of time you put into it but more on the amount of effort. Obviously, you don't need to over render it and keep your brush strokes loose. The things you need to lock down on a sketch however are proportions, shape and values. Once that is in, call it done, move to the next pose. In terms of time if you really want to know, for these sketches, don't spend more than 20 minutes on one pose.
I'm really digging that woman sitting pose. You got all of the fundamentals for it down! your bar of standards should be at that level and always push for nothing less than that sketch
I feel comfortable doing the figure painting after doing the still life practice. Also tried a 30 min portrait test just to see what it was like
sorry, I'm totally beat today. Will send you something by tomorrow. Nice work by the way, man. that portrait is really kicking ass! keem em coming.
Tried to push a figure painting as far as I could. I like the result but I noticed I revert back to my zombie-self, ie. I turned off my brain and just copied the photo rather than interpreting it. Lots of zooming and slow, tedious strokes - bad
I will try adding color (it won't be pretty, ugh) and clothes