Thursday, September 30, 2010

Super Mega-Post #100.

Wow. Lots of things to cover.

First, I've been thinking.

Your degree of understanding of anatomy, lighting, composition etc varies, however 'polishing' a piece allows you to make it seem like you know how all the parts of your painting work without actually bestowing you with that knowledge. As such, it is more advisable to use reference and studies to avoid ever having to 'polish' a piece.

I want to able to say "I worked my ass off for Comic Con and now I have this awesome job." But who can seriously call painting work?

Tutorials or process videos are very fascinating, but it's very unlikely that they will help you draw better. You will never think like Bobby Chiu or break down values like algenpfleger. Though being exposed to a style like artsammich has certainly made me tear apart my old way of rendering and search for a new one. There are no shortcuts.

There's a difference between neglecting to render something and leaving in only the strokes that are necessary for the beholder to see the form in three dimensions the same way he/she views life. I want to learn how to do the latter.

Learning design is just a matter of getting loose, I think. You develop a couple of tools over the course of learning how to draw (oval, straight line, curve, scribble, etc) which let you lay down the ground work for your picture as quickly as possible. As Matisse pointed out, this is where design starts, so pretty much anyone can do it. The problem is, afterwards you need to have a foundation in representation to pull your work into reality.

And now the work:

This still life is supposed to teach me cloth for an illustration I've been working on this week. It's gonna blow everyone away.

In honour of post #100 let's go back in time and throw in what I was doing exactly one year ago:

Those are twenties, except for the last one which is a forty. Did I get better?

And now the big reveal.

If you think of making a picture as a process that takes a certain amount of time with different stages (thumbnail, rough comp, colour comp, etc), then you should practice every part of the pipeline in order to be able to make a fully rendered painting. However, for the same reason that serving is more important than forehand or backhand in tennis, the beginning stages of the painting should be practiced the most. Furthermore, as you get better and quicker with the prep work and sketches by spending the same amount of time (1-3 hours) on a new piece daily, later stages of the pipeline get bumped down. After a month, instead of taking 2 hours to do line art, you may be able to have a simple finished piece in 3. This, among other reasons, is why my roommate and I started Daily Duels. I won't upload all the 18 pieces we've done so far, but here's something to bait your interest.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lofty Aspirations

Welcome to Manton, random Chinese dude. I appreciate your support.

I like digital paintings that resemble traditional mediums because you can see the artist's skill through how much information is transmitted in each stroke. Anyone can sit there and render until it looks like the model they used for 'reference.'

This took about an hour, mostly because of drawing issues.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to Face

Just use circles.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Running Out of Titles.

Thought I'd post some line art today since the model was such a baller. Hopefully the poses come through.

Also, I think I finally came up with a technique for quick rendering. It works in B&W so far. The colour sketch sort of failed this time...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I think the fact that people are asking which brushes i'm using means i'm getting better.
I'm back to loving life. Maybe it has something to do with the moon cycles?

Values are a little dark on these. I guess my laptop monitor has less of a range or isn't calibrated well.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Imagination for Real

I can't put it off any longer. Today is the last doing of doing studies. Starting tomorrow, the bulk of my work will be developing my portfolio.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lord of the Keys

I should really be doing these at night, since there is too much glare on both screens to read values correctly. But I liked how they turned out like zombies in #6.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Paint-in-your-underwear-all-day Chalet

If you work on a problem long enough, the solution will present itself.

We are choosing to enjoy two or three experiences at a time. As I am writing this, I am also eating a salad. Plus I may remember to text somebody or to vacuum the floor, and as we all know it takes five minutes to get back to any task after being interrupted. The more things you choose to do at once, the more shallow your experiences will be, let alone how tasking it is on your mind. It might seem like you get more done, but personally I've noticed that the stupid mistakes I make because of multitasking eat up all the time I might have saved. I prefer to live a fulfilling life, in which you use your full attention to experience the now, however I can't bring myself to live that way. Efficiency is too deeply ingrained in my brain.

You can also gather unrelated reference for shape language ideas.

Exaggeration in drawing is just another trick for seeing form. Once you amass enough of those tricks, you can keep your brain away from relaxing into "regular" seeing mode for long enough to complete the image.

These are from the past two days. The reason my updates have been slacking...will be unveiled soon.

For your benefit, the previous Hogarth (9 days ago):

And now, colour keys from your favorite motion picture. I blame all errors on poor DVD quality and screen glare.