Monday, December 23, 2013

Walter White or Vladimir Lenin

The pain of brushwork that has been haunting me since I started drawing... It all can be solved with painting opaquely!! (and then smudging) Even though Trevor's been telling me to do it for about a year now, it only now dawned on me that the second biggest obstacle between you and a quick render is COLOUR PICKING! (The first one is putting the right mark in the right spot)

And it takes a while to get that colour right, so most people try to blend it on the canvas, which actually takes wayyyy longer.

For most materials you only need to pick 3 or 4 different colours, the rest is blending. So invest that time to pick the right ones upfront!!!

Trying Borislav's brush technique to improve form rendering and facial structure. Learned a lot. Still more to go.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


First maester study in a looooooong time.. I failed at the values, which I realized 2 hours into it.
Needless to say, learned a lot. Should probably stick to grayscale for now..

Remember when switching local value, that your values for lights and shadows will switch also, and grow proportionally to the amount of local value shift.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Yin and Yang qi

Slowly foraying into materials and colour rendering. Decided to start by copying this master. And doing a little doodle to see what I learned.

The OG

Start with rough grayscale, low contrast. Clipping mask --> add your hues to the shadows. Work mostly in the low saturated tones and limit it to 3-4 main hues for the shadows. Then find your saturated spots and put em in. Then find your highest values and put them in. Continue until done.

Always unify and desaturate all your colours because thats how photoshop works best. You can paint saturation and brighten up the value later.

Shapes are usually highlighted by occlusion shadow around them.

Keep your colours as simple and unified as possible, because anything you pick will blend differently with the thing underneath it. Also, if you keep your hues subtle, you won't need as much to describe variation. Bright colours require more brushstrokes.
Also, you can reuse the hues on your canvas for different materials..... Interesting.

Split it up by planes. Any form you put down, find the terminator and rough it in (with gradients if you can).

Only put down form strokes when you need to. When you can leave it as is, leave it as is. If you don't "feel" the form, then add more.

Imagine that you're actually looking at it. In real life. Think about where the rays are going, what they're bouncing off of.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Manatee of Steel

You need to make some important calculations to show form. First, find the planes of the brightest brights. Next, find the planes of the terminator. Next, find the halfway point between the plane of the brightest bright and the plane that faces the camera. Once those planes are there, just measure the speed at which transitions happen between them.

Render form shape by shape. Get the big mass in first, then medium, then small. Start with a flat value (preferably the darkest), then add the brightest bright, then highlight if needed. Oh yeah, don't forget the cast shadow, too! Add ambient occlusion and reflected light, and there you have it!

Scott Robertson says: "form change equals value change" so choose which forms you will render wisely.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Johnny Snew

I need more :(

Thursday, June 6, 2013

And I think to myself

that I should get better at form.

New way of painting. Start with ambient occlusion, because a ton of your values and shadows are gonna come from that anyway.

Sculpt by Bruno Camara

There are two kinds of gradients, one that moves toward you and one that moves away from you. You need a separate brush for both.

Be careful when it comes to subtle value differences. As soon as you enter that territory, your mistakes will cost a lot of time to fix. Make sure your big shapes and values are placed correctly before that happens!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Allofher Chippers

Stylization class this morning. Courtesy of my friend o-town chipster.

Learned a lot. Pushed limits. Now better. More of this.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Getting Back

So I went to Canada. Time to make up for lost time.

Start with the darks.
Work with 2 values for as long as possible. Base and dark. Then work in the brighties.

Make a dot of right plane, then blend it into the rest. Maybe it's too early to learn form from faces? hmm...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Generic Demon-San

So I'm back from my vacay. Still learning form. These were done before, at the suggestion of my friend Avery. They helped out a ton, but I have a lot to learn.

Make sure you err on the side of the dark.
Keep it in midtones, then put in the darkest darks, then put in lightest lights.
There are thousands of different ways to render form. It doesn't need to be 100% accurate all the time. Just make sure it looks cool.
Keep things loose until the very end. Always.
Its about corners and highlights. Those are the hardest and show the most form.
Render the major plane changes at a time.

Sculpt the form as quickly as possible. Leave the planes simple, then go in with the divets and veins.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My kinda gal

So pretty...

Don't edit form, just get better at simplifying. Average your transition values, then add your high-value points. It's a lot easier than editing low-value points over and over. That's how the masters did it. Building up.

There are two ways to render -  airbrushy, and hard edges. Know when to use both. Make conscious decisions where you want to smudge and where you want to keep your planes sharp, because edge sharpness affects values as well. Choose your big gradients the same way you choose your big edges.

Break your image into less than 10 swatches. Then mix in and out of them. Oil painters have to mix everything by hand, so they simplify the palette as much as possible. Trouble is, in digital colours don't mix so smoothly....hmmm..

Photoshop is a big distraction, because it has so many tools and options. Paint as efficiently as possible. Don't get lost in editing. Do it all in one stroke.

Keep your painting mostly dark, then add one area (no more than a sixth of the painting) where all the bright values are. eg. Brom.

Thanks for your advice, Josh. I'm still really bad at it, but hopefully it'll help. :D

Friday, May 10, 2013


I forgot how.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Values are relative. Don't try to measure values when you're trying to sculpt form. After you rough in your planes, just control and refine gradients until it looks correct.

The more a plane faces the light, the less value change you need to "bend" it.

Probably gonna get some animal skulls to still life it up.

Ugh.. could not get that cheek/forehead to look right for the life of me. I'm so sorry.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More More More...

 So I was doing these today:

And then holy shit, I just realized I was doing everything wrong. I was focusing more on the drawing rather than the planes and form, which is actually what i'm trying to learn.

Here's how you do it:

Identify plane most important planes---> Put the right flat value on them ---> smear it into other planes

And then:

Monday, April 29, 2013

Gnomon Live Will Change Your Life

It's over. I've had enough procrastination and complacency. It's time to get better. Talking with and listening to the dudes at the Gnomon Live Workshop this weekend finally put my head in the right place. After so many months.

Came to work last night and did these. Working on form and facial struture: