Drawing is more important than painting
#1
"80% of getting better at painting is just drawing." maybe richard schmid, hell JFK coulda said it, it's still a quote to live by.

I think i figured it out... And if you already understand this, it'll be nothing new, but there are no threads on this out there and i want to make one just so noobies don't fall into the same trap i did.

We're all here, on crimson daggers, a site founded by Dave Rapoza, or as most would consider, a master of photoshop and rendering. Many of us are fans of Brad Rigney, Craig Mullins, Ruan Jia; all quite masterful at rendering in photoshop. But that's what we see on the outside at first, is the very beautiful rendering. 

So after being exposed to these guys for the first time, you know a lot of people we tend to look up to like algenpfleger, jana schirmer, mike azevedo etc. are really really good at painting. Gorgeous lighting, colors, balances in the values, edges, brushstrokes; just wanna eat em!

But one thing i see people (like myself) neglect is the fact that these people i've listed are really really good at drawing as well. Maybe not night and day compared to their painting abilites, but pretty damn good. But a few of us really want to emulate that rendering style so much that we don't realize (or are never told directly) that

rendering well doesn't necessarily help you get jobs.

And i'll elaborate: Here are some examples of people who don't render as well as rigney, mullins etc.


http://reiq.deviantart.com/gallery/
http://artgerm.deviantart.com/gallery/
http://slugbox.deviantart.com/

And look how popular they are! How well recieved! no one really cares that they can't paint as well as rigney and they still are professional! Even more popular than rigney! I know it's anime, but that's another point i'll get to!

This really hit me this morning when i posted  a piece on imgur that i used a lot of reference for and once i finished it, was confident that it was the most anatomically correct and well rendered thing i'd done. 
http://imgur.com/gallery/2FdZA1G

And i'll note that imgurians are brutally honest and imgur is a fantastic way to get very harsh feedback if the piece is screaming for it. 

But the face of this girl i'd drawn is pretty skewed, but i had not noticed that before posting it. If i had gotten the drawing part right before i posted it, maybe they would have liked it? could they complain about something else? i haven't gotten many likes on this piece and probably won't, but i'll turn your attention to something i did do right, several months ago.

http://fedodika.deviantart.com/art/Djalj...-521579330

This piece is my most faved, commented, shared, whatever piece i've ever done, and i did it in like april 2015. The difference between that and the girl is that this piece is i suppose drawn well to the point that it's than passable. Even though i'd say this piece isn't rendered as well, that part doesn't really matter. Because the drawing is good. It's not even fan art either, it's not anime, 

The anime part doesn't matter, if it's drawn well, they will come. The style part can matter, but what matters more, is the overall structure and solidity and volume of the piece. 

All of that comes from the drawing, and overall shape language. That does 90% even 100% of the work in selling your idea. And if your idea isn't great as rigney once said, "you know, green skin, big tits, red glowing eyes, uhhh, gun,"

Rendering can help you. But it can't save a lack of understanding in key fundamental areas.

"The rendering can look like crap and clients don't care, as long as the drawing is good." Feng Zhu.

(bout to get philisophical)

In illustration that may be different because if you are getting hired to paint something well, obviously that's a different story. But! you aren't likely to get hired for companies a lot of us want to work for drawing blobs of pretty texture, you have to make something tangible like a character or a creature. And you know, the character can't be a stick man, it can't be a stiff figure whose anatomy isn't great, it can't be ugly (unintentionally) or even worse, trying to be pretty but is slightly skewed. 

Something being cool, or being beautiful, or being whatever you want it to be is in the very contours of your piece, in the line art. The shape language, the composition, should all read clearly in the line art, with precision!

If i could go back in time, i'd spend 90% of my time drawing and learning shape language over what i did, which was spending 90% of the time painting. I know plenty of tricks about edges, color, tight values, lasso tools, layer modes, color correction, and even how to just make a blob of pretty colors, but i'm not getting hired by anyone to do that :3

Wouldn't it be cool if you could draw a perfect hand from your imagination, like an old michealangelo sketch? or if you could do line art from your mind of a bunch of characters with cool shapes like kim jung gi? Or would you rather paint some half ass drawn orc with flawed anatomy with pretty skin textures and material textures.

Chances are, people are gonna care alooooot more if you can just put down lines like marko or kim jung gi, or paul richards, than if you can paint skin realistically or you know paint metal armor. It's just icing on the cake really, but the cake has to be good or else you get this "mleh" kinda feeling.

And remember! you can get a job making low poly 3d models if the visual information (drawing) is good! and zbrush and keyshot can render a lot of it for you :)


Attached Files Image(s)



70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
Reply
#2
I saw peleng render sketches from amateurs and they were amazing. They didnt look they lack in "drawing". And sick drawing can look good with wrong color or light. And both being great is what
Brad Rigney does, or Mullins, so Id say its equally important, once youre world class in one thing you dont
have to have everything.

Drawing young girls is most important srs.
Reply
#3
Haha true! but we're talking about getting work :p i don't know anyone who makes a living rendering amateurs sketches haha

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
Reply
#4
Very well said dude, you know the saying: "a monkey dressed in silk is still a monkey" or something like that lol if the underneath structure sucks, the outer layers will suck too.
A lot of people (myself included!) thinks or had thought at some point that their art wasnt better because of the rendering, so they keep focusing on that, and their drawing remains the same, and their art remains the same.

Anyone can learn how to replicate any material or surface on digital painting if they practice and study enough, but to actually apply that rendering in a cool illustration you need more than that.
There is a reason youtube is full with very similar artists rendering this or that, but how many Kim jung gis are out there? just something to think about.

Reply
#5
This is what I've been trying to get everyone on board with since I can remember.

Gah.

Learn how to draw and good things will come.

Reply
#6
To add to this -- learn to paint traditionally.

You may not be aiming to become a traditional painter, but trust me, there is a world of difference between picking colors off a digital canvas and thinking through the practice of manual mixing. All these subtle shifts in value and hue cannot be faked with digital techniques, when they are on your palette in front of you and when you are learning to make true neutrals your ability to *see* color and light changes entirely.

Taking something to a high level of polish is about hours and patience -- all these sexy blends, they are a result of technique (look at all that terrible 90s fantasy fairy art floating around). Any turd polished long enough starts to shine. The reality of this industry is, you usually do not have that time.

IMO, drawing skills come with sketch practice, with focus on accurate replication and the gut feeling that will carry through to the final. Plein air and traditional still life painting combine EVERYTHING, engage EVERY part of your brain at once; since the shapes are there for you to interpret you are dealing with color, with design, with composition. Good painting is about CHOICES, poor painting is about COPYING. By sitting down and making these decisions, even just a couple of days a week, you are expanding your shape and visual library which will lead to better designs. You will be improving your drawing skill as well -- to put down an accurate stroke, after stroke, you only have one chance to get it right. And paint is expensive D:

I didn't really get how -important- traditional painting is until I had to do four still life studies a week at college. With a time limit of about 2 hours, you level up REALLY fast.


Reply
#7
I say if you are mindful of the shapes of a thing (gun, truck, building hooman), whether you design it drawing, painting or otherwise its the same really.

Drawing is faster I feel. Instead of working in 2 or 3 tones, you describe with line and maybe simple hatching.

If you do work with tones, you get the local colours, mood and atmosphere into it depending on the tones you picked. So quid pro quo.

You can draw mindlessly, just as easily as you can paint mindlessly. Always being mindful and heartfelt is the challenge imo.



Each has their strengths.
Reply
#8
Drawing is good.

Reply
#9
Norman Rockwell about drawing i read this once in a while to remind myself that, DRAWING IS SUPER IMPORTANT!!!111one

Probably the most important stage in Norman Rockwell's technique was the drawing stage. In this stage, subjects were drawn in great detail, going so far as to indicate differences in light and shade by filling in areas with varying values of grey. If you look closely at a Norman Rockwell painting, much of his pencil lines can be seen lurking below the paint. "I take the making of the charcoal layouts very seriously," Rockwell once remarked. "Too many novices. I believe, wait until they are on the canvas before trying to solve many of their problems. It is much better to wrestle with them ahead through studies." Knowing that the success of his covers and advertisements depended on the strength of his ideas, Rockwell struggled to develop engaging picture themes. With the emphasis on preliminary drawings this allowed Rockwell to produce strong illustrations for his commissions. His successes in commercial art and the advertising industry are a result of those drawing phases.

Reply
#10
from what i've heard from feng zhu and people like paul richards who have been in the industry for a long time; draftsmanship alone can land you concept art jobs; Even rapoza admits on some recent streams that he is selling just lineart concepts to film and games now. Neilson is a great drafstman and could sell his stuff on the sketches alone. Fowkes works with strong sillhouettes, but in his field of landscapes, draftsmanship may come secondary to color and value. But my point here is still consistent in that the composition or the arrangement of shapes is more important than the rendering.

And yes like i said, if you're an illustrator it will be to your advantage to render well, but i've seen plenty of comic book illustrations whose rendering is less than impressive, but the drawing is fantastic. and being popular is very important if you can make your livelihood off of it; I'm sure many people would take sakimichan's patreon success over working a low end concept art job, rendering brick textures.

Also, this guy can't render for shit, but do you really think that stops him from getting work?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xouzSeDKQs

70+Page Koala Sketchbook: http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-3465.html SB

Paintover thread, submit for crits! http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-7879.html
[color=rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.882)]e owl sat on an oak. The more he saw, the less he spoke.[/color]
Reply
#11
(11-02-2015, 01:06 AM)Fedodika Wrote: from what i've heard from feng zhu and people like paul richards who have been in the industry for a long time; draftsmanship alone can land you concept art jobs; Even rapoza admits on some recent streams that he is selling just lineart concepts to film and games now. Neilson is a great drafstman and could sell his stuff on the sketches alone. Fowkes works with strong sillhouettes, but in his field of landscapes, draftsmanship may come secondary to color and value. But my point here is still consistent in that the composition or the arrangement of shapes is more important than the rendering.

And yes like i said, if you're an illustrator it will be to your advantage to render well, but i've seen plenty of comic book illustrations whose rendering is less than impressive, but the drawing is fantastic. and being popular is very important if you can make your livelihood off of it; I'm sure many people would take sakimichan's patreon success over working a low end concept art job, rendering brick textures.

Also, this guy can't render for shit, but do you really think that stops him from getting work?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xouzSeDKQs


Ok , you have to written that at the same time I deleted my post. For the people wondering I deleted it because I felt my English was too bad for the long sentences I was making. Here is my second attempt if you feel I missed something feel free to correct me :)

My point was that, for me the thing you call drawing is not linework, but drawing or painting shapes using principles as overlapping, distortion , compression, perspective, gesture etc. That I have seen people finish a painting by starting with line work. Also that I've seen people starting with gesture silhouettes then painting the graphic read and then end up with a piece. When you refer to drawing for me is using principles which can be applied abstractly in the beginning, principles like distortion, compression, proportion, gesture etc. You don't need to start necessary with a drawing, but usually its the fastest way to nail those principles. At the same time if you don't apply those principles, starting with drawing wouldn't matter.

Having said that. I've seen good drawings with bad lighting and texture and bad drawings with good lighting and texture. Both were equally disappointing. If you lack good rendering and material indication you can't get away with just good drawing skills.

For example in the concept design fields the point is to create designs as close as could get to a in-game asset. You need to to be very good with colors and light for mood and storytelling.Also to have good material indication in order to make the life of game designers and modelers easier. That is what is expected for you, those people have deadlines as well, you cant expect somebody to do your work + the work which those people were originally hired for. The examples you talk about may be true few years ago, now the expectations are different. More and more people are using Zbrush then paint on top, modo for blockmeshes and lighting, Marvelous designer, Daz3D, etc. Sure you need to know the fundamentals to paint or draw on top of those.

Also the names you give are something like legends in the industry , they have the connections and the experience. Like how many new commenters can you list who make AAA concept designs with great linework and not so good texture and lighting ? Even people like John Park, who are amazing at drawing have mostly paintings in their protfolio's when it comes to showing projects work.

I think that with illustration is the same. Because illustration is usually commercial art for marketing a game , a book , a card game, movie ect.
And this is where I don't agree with "And look how popular they are! How well recieved! no one really cares that they can't paint as well as rigney and they still are professional!"
Except if its for a particular reason when would a client say "Oh , just do the pencils and we use it as a poster or a cover" ? The thing is that there is a difference between personal popularity and what a client would need for selling their product. If you have mainly drawing skills you limit your client list to a very few. Sure there are exceptions to the rule, but I'm not a fan of the message that people who are just starting to work will pull it off with drawing and semi-rendering skills.

Colors, lighting and materials shouldn't be underestimated because they are the biggest tool when it comes to visual storytelling(this is where I mentioned Nathan Fowkes and Sam Nielson ) . Sure "drawing" is the first skill to develop , but its not less or more important lighting and color. You used the argument that from a good drawing you can make a 3d model which keyshot can render way better than you. Following this logic you can use Zbrush and Marvelous designer to solve all the form problems and then paint on top. In both cases " which came first the chicken or the egg " is not the point, they are equally important :)

When you use Charles Lin , the thing is that he is doing a personal project, he can go with every style he wants. I have no basis to judge on the amount or type of work he gets.


I may be completely wrong with my views , because not working in the industry, so feel free to call me out on it :D

From a workshop I attended with my portfolio, I talked to people who worked for movies such as Ice Age, James Bond and people from studios such as Crytek and Ubisoft. The feedback from all the guys was that they liked my designs a lot, the shape design and forms are nice, but if I want to find work with my designs, I need to paint on top and use textures.Because this is what is demanded , you can't expect somebody else to fix this problem. May be my designs sucked and I couldn't get away with not having textures. Here is the thing, I'm just starting in the industry, as probably as many people who would read this thread. I think that they could have the wrong impression. That they should prepare on the one side and underestimate the other.

Anyways thank you for making this thread, its a very interesting topic and I enjoyed reading all the comments. I'm getting back from 3D to drawing so I agree with most points made here :)

Reply
#12
(11-02-2015, 03:52 AM)Mariyan-Hristov Wrote: I may be completely wrong with my views , because not working in the industry, so feel free to call me out on it :D
You're spot on.

Drawing is a fundamental ability and needs to be developed before one starts to learn painting.

But the end product in the industry is hardly ever linework. Those days are long gone, actually. There are top people like Eytan Zana who say themselves they're not great shakes at drawing.

Times have changed.

Today, 3D is everywhere and you just can't compete with the accuracy, the speed and the versatility of a competent artist who uses DAZ, MODO, Marvelous Designer etc., unless you're extremely gifted (and even then you'll probably be better off using 3D).

In over 4 years of working as an illustrator/designer, I have never seen linework being used for anything other than quick idea doodles.

Everything else is always rendered/painted/photobashed. Even design exploration.

The simple truth is that with today's standards, you have to be both a competent draughtsman and a competent painter using the most recent tools of the trade (namely 3D) to stand much of a chance. Sure, there are people who do without some of these elements, but they are the extremely rare exceptions.

Reply
#13
(11-07-2015, 01:13 AM)ReneAigner Wrote: Times have changed.

Today, 3D is everywhere and you just can't compete with the accuracy, the speed and the versatility of a competent artist who uses DAZ, MODO, Marvelous Designer etc., unless you're extremely gifted (and even then you'll probably be better off using 3D).
Yep, I agree.
They have indeed changed and I can't deny that drawing skill isn't as important in the concept design field - because in reality, what you're saying is true: the switch to 3D is prominent - and anyone from a younger generation trying to compete in a field with drawing ability alone vs people using 3D software to get ahead will be in for a rude awakening. There's a certain level of drawing skill that would need to be met, however, nowhere near as much as back in the day. 
I would say, however, that this discussion lies more along the lines of becoming a professional illustrator - not a concept artist/designer.

Reply
#14
Drawing is a foundation for visual communication. This whole "it isn't as important in the concept design field" is missing the point of drawing. A person that draws well isn't someone that just knows how to accurately put down lines in a drawing, rather it's someone that understands how to communicate a visual impression as well as the design of a subject.

The skills/ideas of drawing are almost a necessity in 3D because it's where the design is rooted as well as the presentation of said design. Understanding how to communicate a design with a visual impression are the core skills of any concept artists.

Drawing is more than just line art or making pretty pictures. It's a foundation of visual communication. This foundation is used while sculpting, rendering 3D scenes and creating interesting visuals. It's the ideas behind drawing that make it valuable, not necessarily the medium or process.

If we think of drawing as just a medium, then yeah we don't really need it and we can do photo bashes and 3D stuff all day long. However if we think of drawing as a method of studying visual communication and representing some of its core ideas, it's vital for any concept artist out there and a skill that won't ever fade away.

Discord - JetJaguar#8954
Reply
#15
(11-11-2015, 11:54 PM)Tristan Berndt Wrote: Drawing is a foundation for visual communication. This whole "it isn't as important in the concept design field" is missing the point of drawing.
I was refering to the end product- the skill itself is of pivotal importance to any 2D artist, no doubt about that.


Quote:The skills/ideas of drawing are almost a necessity in 3D because it's where the design is rooted as well as the presentation of said design.
That isn't true though, there are plenty of competent 3D artists out there who can't really draw very well. Of course, those are 3D people and not concept designers. I think in the coming years we'll see more and more rapid prototyping done directly in 3D as 3D apps become ever more powerful and easy to use. In the end, drawing the visual impression of a threedimensional object is always a workaround to designing directly in 3D, the only advantage is speed (of a doodle vs  a 3D model). But as that advantage slips away, 2D drawing skills will loose relevance in more and more fields of concept design, particularily in hardsurface design.
[/quote]

Reply
#16
Again, this misses the the point. It wasn't drawing itself but rather the ideas behind it that are of value. Just like a painting has a "drawing" behind it, so do things made in 3D. It's a sad view of drawing if one only considers it a skill exclusively for 2D artists and the ideas of drawing only applying to drawing and painting.

Lets say that all concept art produced is 3D. Does this mean that drawing should not be studied? Are the principals of drawing not applied in sculpturing? I'd say that drawing is still a very relevant skill. Not necessarily the product of drawings but the principals learned from it.

At the atelier we have some students working on ecorche sculptures right now. Just about none of them have ever sculpted anything before yet they all manage to sculpt figures very well. This is because the things they've learned about drawing the figure now also translates into sculpting it. It's this I'm talking about: the core ideas that translate across mediums.

Discord - JetJaguar#8954
Reply
#17
(11-12-2015, 02:14 AM)Tristan Berndt Wrote: Lets say that all concept art produced is 3D. Does this mean that drawing should not be studied? 

That depends on how intuitive the 3D apps are. At the moment, knowing how to read blueprints is really useful for any 3D artist, and for 2D artists, well, you need to know how to draw to overpaint 3D output in any case.

But in a hypothetical world where concepting can be done 100% in 3D, drawing is obsolete for that type of work, unless you use a really, really broad definition of "drawing".

Reply
#18
Well, I have to agree with Tristan Berndt. I can't remember who said that "Drawing is intelect and Colour is emotion". Referring to the examples of sculpting, and photo bashing, etc, we can learn as many shortcuts as we want, if we can't understand the form in our minds, nothing good will come of it. Sculpting is "merely" pulling a 3d form out of a 2d drawing. Sure, we may only see the end result taking form, but that's what's happening. The same happens with painting (and by the way, any photo bashing that in the end communicates a clear visual idea). If there's clear visual communication in the end, unless your talking about abstract painting, the drawing is the base of everything. 

Another thing I've heard (and this I'm almost sure it was Bobby Chiu, but I can be wrong) was that all the painters that we see that start immediately with colour and work they way up until they have a final piece, they all have the drawing skills way advanced in their minds, they just don't need to express it anymore to get to the final result. I think something similar happens with amazing sculptors. 

Finally (my 3rd quote which I can't recall the author), someone was talking about how 90% the times that someone is stuck in a painting and can't solve a problem, the problem is not the painting but the drawing underneath. He was talking about reviews he does for other (less advanced) artists. And in the end he said something like "If you want to level up your paintings, draw like hell". 

I'm not sure who said it but I remember that all these guys were big guns in the industry, and I'm yet to hear any top pro to come forward and say something like "drawing will be unimportant as a skill in a couple of years". I don't see it happening but maybe I'm completely wrong. I hope not :) what a uninteresting world would be :)
Reply
#19
Drawing,painting,3D,photo-bushing - it's just tools and solely depends on you, where and how you want to apply them.

I've seen thousands art books starting from animation/cartoons, continue with stylized/realistic games and end up with films.
If you want a stylized character for your cartoon,anime,manga e.t.c, you would probably prefer exploring ideas by drawing to find out characters personality and shape language.Of course, adding a simple render( by simple render i mean a quick color comp.+light and shadow) will be a plus.The same thing applies to stylized games including props concept. In most cases.

If you are working on a film, on pre-production phase, you would probably skip the drawing thing and start painting instead(or painting with 3d), to explore the mood or atmosphere of a particular scene.If you need a character for that film,you would probably choose photo-real result in order to be sure how the film will look like in the end.Same applies to realistic games.

But the thread is not about "what the best tool artists use to achieve great results and to be 100% hired", it's about how you will improve your skills in art by drawing,painting or using 3d.
Face it guys, the core of skills comes from drawing.By drawing you will understand the basics a lot faster than painting or using 3d/photo-bushing.If you need to come up with a quick idea and you are experienced user in drawing, it will be easier for you to communicate with others by using preferable media,as you know all the basics like light and shadow,perspective,stylization,anatomy,e.t.c.

There is no exactly "the way" to be hired.Besides,you don't have to be a Jack of all trades in big companies,as big companies have pro's in every discipline. Whether it's drawing,painting or sculpting.You will find your place everywhere you wish.

The Way Of The S4MURAI  (sketchbook)
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)