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.