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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]
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Thanks Fedo :).

Something I've been pondering:

Continually measuring throughout the painting process.
I don't do this enough, I stop measuring after my line drawing.
This results in skewed perspective, structure and proportion.  Skewed fundamentals.
Is it better to put in an accurate line drawing and stay as faithful to that as possible?
Or is it better to go with a loose line drawing and just never switch off your measuring brain?

I aim to investigate for myself, but any thoughts would be most welcome.

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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"Is it better to put in an accurate line drawing and stay as faithful to that as possible"

Well that'd be stupid if the drawing was flawed, you'd be staying faithful for the sake of being faithful.

Even Jeff watts will tell you that painting is still part of drawing because you're making marks that show form, you have to be able fix stuff on the fly, specially if you get late in a piece and client wants a big change in the drawing.

A good way to practice that is very draining and difficult, but its to take a reference study and build it up completely with tone; using the lasso tool or whatever means possible to make it look right. Don't sweat the end product, it will probably look rough, but you will see how many things could go wrong without a line drawing and will test your fundamentals of just seeing and sculpting form in its purest nature of tone and structure.

"Or is it better to go with a loose line drawing and just never switch off your measuring brain?"

Loose enough is what i'd say, don't over commit to anything early on. Never switch off the measuring brain, even after you've "finished" a painting.

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]
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I appreciate your thoughts Fedo, thank you.  I can see that you believe in never switching off your measuring brain, which I agree with.

Some more pondering:

Copying vs Inventing.
Copying: the reference is always available.
Inventing: the reference is probably only available in my head (stitched together from other references). In this case is it better to build a firm foundation by constructing an accurate line drawing early on instead of constructing bit by bit as I progress through the painting stages?

Some more daily sketching:



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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"Inventing: the reference is probably only available in my head (stitched together from other references)."

Inventing is always a culmination of observing references. ideally you should be able to break down the drawing in simple shapes, and understanding those simple shapes well enough to turn them and construct the subject in different angles.

You should copy, but only with the intention of understanding the forms at their core. Some normies use the grid method to copy photographs and shade them photorealistically putting 50 odd hours into it. Then when they have to draw from imagination they're totally fucked because they dont understand the forms at their core.

Yea you should make the drawing as accurate as you can initially, but use the knowledge of the core forms to guide you incase you make mistakes you see later on.

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]
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Thanks Fedo, yeah I'm thinking that using construction from basic forms is the way to go when inventing.  Somehow I've gotten so used to straight copying that I feel out of my depth when inventing.

Anyways, I've recovered from my cold and am starting another book cover.  

The story here is that a bloke is sat in a hospital room shouting at an alien doctor for not doing a better job.  In the background we need to see some weird alien towers out of the window.

I'm trying to refine my end to end illustration process and have started with a moodboard and some thumbnails and sketches:






“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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Heya!

Very hard /agree on Fedos post about copying. Can be easy sometimes just getting stuck in a comfort zone of doing random studies without actually analyzing them or thinking about how to use them in your personal work later on. The approach you're doing in your latest post seems nice, good way to break it down and try different angles. 

Picking a composition to stick with is tricky sometimes, no? Judging from the idea you have, an angle that shows of the expressions of the characters would be best I think, so the pov is closer to one of the characters could be more dynamic.

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I like how the doctor/patient fill the image in the upper right thumbnail. Nice use of inspiration to build up a scene. I kind of like the idea of a 4 armed surgeon bug.

If the patient is upset, and face not showing, make it all about body language. Shoulders tensed up, arm(s)/finger pointing right in it's face. I think people angrily shouting tend not to maintain quite the same respectful personal space bubble. Act out your reaction if a doctor put your hand on backwards or something! Take a photo in the mirror to work from.

A person being shouted at might take a step backwards, lean back a bit, have hands up defensively.

Bandages or an IV attached to a bag of fluids will mark the patient as a patient. A coat and some sort of stethoscope-like thing will mark the bug as a doctor.

Good luck with the project!

_________________________________________________________________________
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.  
-Chinese proverb

Sketchbook

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@Adzerak: Thanks for commenting mate, yeah I find composition tricky, I've read up on the theory e.g. rule of thirds etc ... but putting it into practice a whole different ball game!

@Tygerson: Great ideas there, thanks!  I've actually picked a composition that includes a lot of what you suggested!  And thanks for the push :).

Wow, life has been busy recently so I haven't had much time for art but I've started the line drawing.  Been getting to grips with the perspective ruler in Clip Studio Paint, it's actually quite useful!





“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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All of us on here are on an art journey, for people like me, it may be a very long one, so how do I ensure I reach my destination and not fade out and give up?  Recently I've come to believe that the answer lies in finding balance between enjoying the journey and looking forward to our destination.

How do we find a balance between savouring the journey and reaching our destination?  Maybe it is by focussing on our craft for it's own sake?  By learning solid skills and processes that help us to reliably produce art that we love?

If my ramblings haven't put you people off, I'd love to hear any thoughts on this.

Anyway, I've been struggling to find the time for art just recently between life and sleep but here's some progress on my latest book cover piece:



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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This might sound pedantic, but I don't like calling this art thing a journey anymore, because a journey implies a destination and a moment of arrival.  It's more like a constant evolution. I think that context is a much healthier and accurate way to think about it in the long run.

Like in the theory of evolution if you can channel whatever challenges that you experience into a positive adaptation as much as you can, the better.  For example I channelled the desperation of wanting to change my career, into the positive adaptation of having a very strong work ethic in my study after work. For a long time I just let that desperation languish and fester before I got serious. 

Once I went fulltime, this dynamic totally changed.  Whereas before I had an unshakeable and at times detrimental work ethic, now I found I fought with myself to get down to doing my own personal work and freelance became more and more a chore. Self directed discipline and time management became so much more important and harder to do when there were no set times for work.  The "destination" of going fulltime freelance was achieved, but I realised it was a mirage to begin with. Things actually got much harder in many ways, not easier. 

I think a few main points I learned from all of that
1. Discipline and taking Action are always key factors in any 'success'.  Consistently being able to get down to do work even if you don't feel like you want to is pretty much always going to be a boon as long as it is balanced well with other parts of your life. You can investigate any master painter / writer / creative. Discipline, drive and consistency is common to pretty much all of them whatever their circumstance.

2. Enjoying learning is a huge positive factor. Not everyone does. Many see it as a chore that needs to be done to get the skills to finally then be able to do what they like. Doesn't bode well for sustainability.

3. Work on personal work no matter what skill level you are at. Be careful about focusing too hard on technical ability alone in the drive towards developing your artistic craft and voice. I'm not playing down the importance of fundamentals/study (it is very important), but I think making it too much of a focus at the expense of doing things purely for your own enjoyment/fulfilment can result in some issues down the line, that might not be clear now. Always try to be reflective of your interests and why/what you want to express in this visually creative way. That also needs to be developed and worked on. If your skills improve enough to the point you can draw anything relatively well, but you find out you have nothing to say, well let's just say that sucks too. Granted it's a problem more advanced folk get into down the line.

 YouTube free learnin! | DeviantArt | Old Folio | Insta
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Amit :).  Thanks for dropping by dude.

I like your thoughts on constant evolution and adaptation, I can see that having such an attitude towards learning art would help a person to continually strive to improve but don't you think we need to have destinations or goals?  If we don't have goals we lose focus and that can also lead to us running out of steam don't you think?

Thank you for posting your learning points as well.

1. Discipline and Action.
I completely agree, these are key to making progress.  Forming good habits is a really powerful strategy that I've done a lot of reading up on recently: I start small and easy but try to be solidly consistent, I track habits (I use a mobile app) and I try to have a cast iron morning routine that will put me in the right zone spiritually, mentally and physically at the start of each day - the day may end up being crap but at least I start it well.

2. Enjoying Learning.
Definitely, but for me I have to put the effort in before I start enjoying the learning.  Go deep and at my own pace.

3. Work on Personal Work.
I wish I did more of this but at the moment I am working on a project with a friend which will probably take me through to the end of the year.  After that it's going to be all personal :).  I guess the one thing doing this project is giving me is the chance to develop discipline.  I have 6 more pieces to do which I expect to be a real grind given the other demands on my time but strangely I am starting to enjoy doing this more and more - maybe because I am learning a lot from doing it.  When I realise that I have learned something - that gives me happiness too.

I still think we need to have a balance between focusing on the present moment and being aware of where we are headed.

For me this means enjoying each brush stroke and trying to make it better than the previous one but also being aware that one day I would like to make a living doing art because I enjoy painting more than testing software.

Anyway, apologies again for the rambling, it's late here and I'm just streaming my thoughts into this thread.  I'll probably read this tomorrow wonder what drugs I'd been taking, but what the heck?

A bit more progress on the book cover:



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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Heh, no probs man. :) Oh I totally agree, goals are very good, probably essential to have and use for sure. Didn't mean to imply they weren't.  I guess the issue I have is only with the idea of the 'destination' analogy when it is a badly constructed lofty nebulous distant goal. For example, having a goal of 'becoming a pro fulltime artist' is actually a terrible goal on its own and I think can lead to all sorts of negative effects that can reduce efficiency if your mental game isn't backing you up. Working on shorter more specific, focused and relevant goals is way more positive and definitely gives you a sense of achievement when you tick em off!

so create them if you haven't and start ticking em off! :)

Here's another analogy i like, to do with climbing mountains. On those brutal pitch ascents, in order to not mentally break, it helps to focus on the next rock in sight, or that next bend up ahead and just focus on getting there. Then you repeat that again...and again and again. Before you know it, you're at the summit and the beautiful vista stretches out below. If all you can think about is the summit and how far away it is well that ain't gonna be a positive effect on your resolve! where that differs with art in reality is if it was art, you'd get to the summit, and looming on ahead coming out of the clouds is the next 3000m peak that you need to climb...then on top of that one another one....lol Well maybe not that bad, but it certainly has been this way for me :)

 YouTube free learnin! | DeviantArt | Old Folio | Insta
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Cool, I like mountains :).  Sometimes when my life gets really chaotic I like to visualise myself sitting on a mountain and looking out over the landscape, it helps me gain some perspective and calm down a bit.

Although I don't think I could push myself as hard as you did Amit, I'm aiming for small but consistent steps at the moment.  I got to the stage last year where art had taken over so much of me that the rest of my life starting falling apart and life felt like something I had to endure until the next time I could sit down to paint.

Not good for me spiritually, mentally nor physically.  So now I am seeking balance across the handful of areas that I feel really matter.  My artistic progress is slow but I need to come to terms with that and accept it because I have multiple priorities in life.  With slow progress comes the danger of losing motivation and quitting altogether, unless I can cultivate a deep love of the journey / mountain climb / whatever analogy you want to use.

This is where it's at for me: how do I love the journey?  

I haven't worked it out yet but my train of thought so far is something like this:

Forgive myself for being slow.
Focus on the process.
Enjoy the process by practicing something small until I feel that I have made progress - then comes the joy.
Discipline - sit down to paint consistently every day, even if it is only for 10 - 15 mins.
Look after my health.
Paint stuff for fun.
Reflect on my progress so far.
Try to improve myself in all areas, not just art.


Anyway enough for now, I'm probably quite incoherent but I find that streaming my consciousness on the page like this helps me clarify my thoughts.

Some more progress on the book cover:



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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Definitely finding your own balance is key for all aspects of life, sounds like you're onto a good track to find that!

Unfortunately when it comes to the specific goal of doing 'professional' level art as a career (not sure if you have that) a common factor you will hear in most people's stories is it often comes at a sacrifice to other areas of one's life. Seems to happen in the most intense earlier stages of learning when the learning curve is steepest and one first becomes aware of the sheer magnitude of technical things to be learned.

I have gone through many phases in the 20 or so years of my desire to create and express. The two factors that made the most difference in me was a combo of two things.
1. Deriving great satisfaction from the moment to moment engrossment and being in flow that one gets from creative (and learning) process itself.
2. Knowing deep down and unshakeably that achievements, proficiency and 'success' are simply a factor of time and well directed focus. This leaves little room for negative self judgements or doubt.

If you can always tap into 1 it doesn't matter then in the slightest, if you're doing it as a career, as a hobby, the rate of your progress, or achievements unlocked. Those all become secondary really. not unimportant, just secondary.
If you can cultivate 2 (if you aren't lucky enough to have it built in intrinsically like i did) then much of those self tormenting thoughts can subside, and boy will your mental health improve :)

The times i went off the rails, it was always one of those two not firing properly for many varied reasons that caused the derailment. anyway i'll stop spamming your sketchbook with words. I think you're getting a good handle on how to go :)

 YouTube free learnin! | DeviantArt | Old Folio | Insta
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On the piece you doing i got a problem with the size of it there a lot of inactive zone i don't think it necessary to see so much of the celling.Also i find it unclear what going on in the scene.Just remember to do a few thumbnail as it can improve you composition skill.Try to focus on the mood with color in mind too.Don't be afraid to use as much as possible the principle of design to help push the image.Also i would exaggerate the pose of the character and make sure that they contrast from one and an other.Remember to do greyscale version to see if it would work in color first.The leg of the man also are out of proportion if you would be sitting on the edge of the bed.
Hope this little critic was of any help


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My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from is own error.
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@Amit:  I do have an eventual goal for doing art for a living but it's probably not a conventional goal compared to others on here.  I am currently exploring different avenues of making a living online with my art e.g. blogging, selling art via print on demand services, patreon, web-comics etc ... I am in no hurry as I have a steady day job and also I expect the art road to be a long and winding one.


Quote:1. Deriving great satisfaction from the moment to moment engrossment and being in flow that one gets from creative (and learning) process itself. 

This is the Holy Grail for me, I've been reading up on Flow and Savouring the Moment etc ... because as you say, if a person can achieve this state of mind, then everything else is secondary.  Also the ironic thing is, they might end up making better art as a result.

@Darktiste:  Thanks for the feedback mate, yeah that leg looks a bit wrong there - it's supposed to be half folded across and hooked under his other knee (half cross-legged) - good spot, I've tried to remedy by adding some form indications (the hem of his dressing gown etc ...).  Also the big space at the top is for the book title (it's supposed to be a book cover).  Good point about design as well - I was a bit lazy with the composition design here - I think there are a few tangents that look bad e.g. the corner of the room hitting the buy's face.

Anyway I pushed on and finished this piece as I am under a bit of a tight timescale, I will try to do better with the next piece.  Here's the finished version of this piece anyway:



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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Man I should be in bed but here I am sketching a turtle at midnight!



“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.” -- H. Jackson Brown Jr.

CD Sketchbook



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mind blown!

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]
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Hi first i like turtle.The line quality could be improve with some curve exercise.I don't recommend copying because first you need to understand the right mindset.Since copying is mostly only useful if you are complementing it with analyse of the subject.What i approch here is mainly how to approch decontructing a complexe subject into simple geometric and volume that can later be re-assemble in 3d space.I Hope this was of any use.


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My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from is own error.
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