Beginner looking for critique/paintover Update.1
#1
Hello! First time posting so sorry if I do anything wrong.

  I've been drawing for years, but I never did any painting or color work. My main goal is to become a concept artist so I've been doing studies based on recommendations by teachers and mentors. I will be receiving mentorship come December so I don't have any critique sessions or any artist friends to help out. This seems like a perfect spot as any to get some help. I've been focusing on tonal development and colour usage and I've been trying to paint them quickly, within an hour or two. The only reason I do this is because I learned that concept artists need to paint within such time frames. If anyone has any tips for me, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! 


P.s Ill try to post them in the order I painted them with the reference  I used


Attached Files Image(s)








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#2
Big Grin 
Heya, Some quick thoughts and tips for you.

1.  Speed comes as a result of a large amount of practice in the fundamentals. You simply CANNOT shortcut this. Forget about speed as your main goal outcome for now, and focus on your fundamental skills. You can still do quick paintings ofc, but focus on improving your fundamental skills more and you'll thank yourself later for doing this.

2. Structural accuracy.  
You need to work on prioritising this first before you get all excited about learning to finish a coloured copy of a photo in two hours. IMO your lack of structural fundamentals are bringing the quality of your studies down by a large amount, you're probably not learning as efficiently, and are learning or at least retaining bad habits. As a result this should be prioritised immediately and addressed in your future studies.

One example of what I mean is doing a structural line drawing before painting where you nail accurate proportions, planes of the face etc before you paint a stroke. or even as the main focus of the study alone, setting aside painting at all. This way you can avoid making large mistakes / deformations that are exhibited in your study.



Resources
http://www.dorian-iten.com/accuracy/
Get everything on his site, watch them and start to apply to your approach. I believe most of it is pay what you want (0+)
http://www.drawabox.com 
Do all the exercises on that site. They focus on fundamentals
Find any book by Andrew Loomis, they all contain good information. Read and make any studies from those as you work through them.

For faces specifically, google Asaro heads and do studies of those, learn the major planes of the head. Figures and anatomy will need even more focus as you develop.

[Image: 1395670599047.jpg]


3. Study purpose?  These studies seem to be you attempting to simply copy what you see rather than focus on a very specific aspect of the image that you wish to analyse and learn from. That's fine, but it will be more efficient to focus on some specific things you want to learn from each study and then MOST importantly APPLY to something you do yourself that isn't a study. If you don't do the application soon after you're basically not going to retain as well what you learned from the study

Watch this. It's a breakdown of the above idea.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kfK46nruKM

Slow and steady wins the race. Don't get ahead of yourself too much, as I sense you might be heading that way.

4. Colour studies.
Careful what photos you use to study. Camera lenses are not human eyes and often studying only from photos can skew your understanding of colour. Do regular still life or plein air studies. Probably one of the best exercises you can do to understand realistic light and colour. Read Colour and Light by James Gurney, and read up on his blog. Lots of incredibly useful information.

Good luck!

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#3
(10-26-2017, 11:39 AM)Amit Dutta Wrote: Heya, Some quick thoughts and tips for you.

1.  Speed comes as a result of a large amount of practice in the fundamentals. You simply CANNOT shortcut this. Forget about speed as an outcome for now, and focus on your fundamental skills. You'll thank yourself later for doing this.

2. Structural and value accuracy.  
You need to work on prioritising these first before you get all excited about learning to finish a coloured render in two hours. You seem to be able to fairly accurately copy colour work but your lack of structural fundamentals clearly are bringing this all down.

One example of what I mean is doing a structural line drawing before painting where you nail accurate proportions, planes of the face etc before you paint a stroke.


Resources
http://www.dorian-iten.com/accuracy/
But get everything on his site, watch them and start to apply to your approach. I believe most of it is pay what you want (0+)
drawabox.com  Do all the exercises on that site. They focus on fundamentals
Find any book by Andrew Loomis, they all contain good information. Read and make any studies from those as you work through them.

For faces specifically, google Asaro heads and do studies of those, learn the major planes of the head. Figures and anatomy will need even more focus as you develop.

[Image: 1395670599047.jpg]


3. Study purpose?  These studies seem to be you attempting to simply copy what you see rather than focus on a very specific aspect of the image that you wish to analyse and learn from. That's fine, but it will be more efficient to focus on some specific things you want to learn from each study and then most importantly APPLY to something you do yourself that isn't a study.

Watch this. It's a breakdown of the above idea.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kfK46nruKM

Slow and steady wins the race. Don't get ahead of yourself too much, and I sense you might be heading that way.
Good luck!



Thanks for your imput, greatly appreciated
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#4
Thanks for your imput, greatly appreciated!

Oh, and the practices where to train me with tones, not so much shape. I agree that it lacks structure, and Ill work on that and keep it mind when I do these, however the purpose was to practice tones, colours and paint mixing.
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#5
Ok kewl, well then I'd suggest to try breaking your study focus down even more into those specific things.

1. Value structure. Do grayscale studies and tonal studies on their own. And since value is intrinsically related to form/plane changes, more focus on accurate structure will actually teach you much more in combination than if you didn't think about structure more accurately.
2. Colour: Plein air and still life still will be much more useful than photos, however with photo studies perhaps don't try and duplicate so much detail and instead try and go for the overall simplified effect (eg striped shirt on the woman, or hair on the boy).
3. Colour mixing can be studied much more efficiently if you just pick small specific areas of paintings or photos that you enjoy and to analyse and paint just those areas.

By combining all these together and then also trying to do it at speed, I think you are probably retaining much less information in the study than if you were to be a bit more methodical.

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#6
You've been super helpful. I'll try doing that in the future and I may make another post to show my progress. I'll be joining CG Cookies concept art online course for the next month, and then my actual mentoring will start thereafter.

Thanks for being kind and not ripping apart my first post.

Cheers- Chicken
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#7
No probs, glad I could help and great work posting for crit for the first time. wasn't so bad eh?

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#8
Great advice Amit! @Chicken hope to see your drawings/paintings with applied crits and your CG course assignment results if you decide to post them on this forum
For me personally, drawing/painting from life wasn't of use until I started to learn how perspective end light work in technical kind of aspect. Just didn't know what to look for in my still life setup/photo. I found Scott Robertson's books most helpful for that purpose. *although everything that Amit recommended, too.

Good luck with your course, would be great to see your progress :)

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#9
I agree with Neo, learning and understanding theory first will make your studies much more focused and beneficial.
But when you know what to look for, Plein airs always > photos if you really want to get real about light and colour interaction.

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#10
Hey all again. I spent some time learning on CG Cookie, and boy was I way off track. This place taught me the fundamentals of paintings and I learned more here than I did in college.... I learned shadows work harmoniously with light I.E cool light create warm shadows and vice-versa, I learned contrast with foreground and background, and  some other that I forget right now but will come back when I try to paint again. The site is mostly theory (the beginning stuff is) so there was only two practices with it. I branched out to the intermediate stuff and this is where all the actual painting is. Anyway, I'll post my two practices and the intermediate painting I did and in the order I did them and I'll await eagerly to hear from you guys again =D


P.S  Hey Amit, I took a boo at some of your work and I’m blown away. I was hoping to ask a question to a proffesional like yourself about the life of a concept artist. Back at college, my Photoshop teacher who dabbled in concept art told me he had to use the certain methodology of painting three (character) concepts in under an hour or hour and a half, and this stresses me out a bit. I found a nice indie company that seem to be easy going and relaxed, which is something I need, since my last workplace almost drove me over an edge I will not be repeating over this website. Is the fact that I have to paint so quickly true? If so do you have any exercises that I could take to  speed myself up (keeping in mind that I realize that you have stated that practice and pencil mileage creates a fast artist). If not do you know of any career paths I could take as a sketcher/painter? Concept art has always been something I wanted to do since I was a young’n but if I cannot handle the speed, I may have to do somehting else. Your help, including neo’s, has been greatly appreciated. I cannot tell you how much ya’ll have helped me.

1.) Practice with colour shifting and how light works with shadow (no ref)
2.) Practice with textures and materials + colour shifting
3.) Taking a mat drawing or painting and and tones and textures to it (this was great b/c I have troubles with creating a well painted object outa my head) (Also the flat image is disney, the render is mine)


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#11
Thanks for the kind words!
Just as a caveat I work more on illustrations and keyframe art in entertainment design than doing a lot of concept art. I mostly work on book and album covers at the moment.

Efficient workflow is something that you have to basically build up yourself from lots of trial and error and learning from watching other artist processes but nothing will trump solid drawing skills. If I were to suggest focus on one major skill it should be drawing/drafting! :)
I have some vids on my YT on what I personally find a quick efficient process for environment designs, which you can check out but it's only one take on it. Mostly what I have seen is that efficient workflows tend to separate out into various distinct "phases" of a design or drawing.  You will begin to notice that almost any efficient process will heavily rely on nailing those basic fundamentals first to adequately create a good base to work on.  The starter may be an initial line drawing or basic flat value sketches with primitive objects and accurate perspective. You can see some here, though mostly for illustrations I guess https://www.pinterest.nz/m0nkeybread/art-process/

To create speed most concept artists these days I would say use aids such as basic 3D mockups, photographic base plates, photobashing and such things. There is nothing wrong with this as it is a function of the industry pressures, but for your own skill you have to be careful with relying too much on 3d and photos before your understanding of those fundamentals is developed enough to be able to utilise them well.
For characters silhouette work is often a way used to brainstorm design ideas quickly. Look up the book The Skillful Huntsman for some ideas.

Many people get caught out by this idea of taking the using of aids as shortcuts too early. They might create better work than they are capable of doing from scratch, but if fundamentals aren't up to scratch this becomes blindingly obvious. The aid also can easily become a crutch down the line which results in being deficient in other areas.

So really again I have to stress that I think the best general exercises you can do is to not skimp on fundamentals practice, but also to go through the process of creating an absolute sh*t ton of concept work for yourself and trial out various processes.  It won't matter how slow you are if working for yourself and you will get much quicker as you gain "mileage" and learn.  

You don't have to give up on becoming a concept artist simply because you feel too slow right now :)  Just create a set of specific smart goals about what you'd like to achieve (a vid on that on my yt as well) and work proactively on those. Up your fundamentals skills and understanding as well as doing what it is you'd like to eventually be doing for professional work in your personal work.

Concept art is more about DESIGN, and really about ITERATIVE design, not "art". Being able to come up with a ton of different ideas is probably more important than how quickly you can push out something (though obviously it helps). A good read here
http://howtonotsuckatgamedesign.com/2014...ncept-art/

So you should start to figure out what excites you about the nuts and bolts of designing anything and figure out what inspires you enough to go learn about it and then design something neat from it.  Nature is always a great source of inspiration; it really is a masterful designer and many concept artists draw from it for any kind of design.

There are of course many other avenues you can use drawing skills to get work. Publishing (books,  tabletop games), editorial illustration, advertising, medical and scientific drawings, toy design, fashion design, themeparks, mattepainting, texture artists. It really goes on and on. Don't forget you can also sell your own work to people direct whatever it might be. The list goes on and on, you just have to find your own way towards something :)

I also second Neos recommendation of Scott Roberston's How to Draw and How to Render. Both will give you all the technical understanding of perspective, form and material rendering you could ever want, but they won't tell you how or what to design :)

If you don't have a sketchbook here, you might want to start one up and post your progress. good luck! Happy to answer questions if I can!

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#12
Hey Chicken, great to see another step of your journey!

I would argue that How to draw book has some info on how to design too (although I highly recommend Skillful huntsman as well). It's thumbnail sketching for environments on p.112-118 of How to draw, visual research and exploratory loose sketching sections in airplane chapter, process with steps on p.157-158 (design goals, analysing brief, simple side view drawings). Same concepts can be applied to designing characters,props, etc.

Amit pretty much answered your questions, just some more info that I heared from another pro artist here.
You most likely heared of Anthony Jones who's quite a successful concept artist/educator, one of those guys who can paint a readable character from scratch in like 20 minutes. He said that when he learned he practiced drawing/rendering aka technical skills and design at the same time, which I also think is a good thing to do. Here's a good vid by him on how to study, if you haven't seen it already  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kfK46nruKM&t=5s .  In some other tuts he recommends doing 20+ mins speedpaintings/ drawings right after a study to apply what you learned.  But it can be frustrating and counterproductive for people lacking experience (often an issue for me as well), so I would second Amit's advice that you can do your own work slowly and mindfully.

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#13
Thanks again for such great answers! I'll def check out your YT channel, Amit, as well as Scott Roberstons "How to Draw and how to Render" and “The Skilled Huntsman.” They both sound great. And thank-you Neo for telling me about Anothony jones, I’ll def check him out too. It sounds like really taking my time is exactly what I need. I’ll keep stabbing it studying and try my best to improve. I’ll keep posting my stuff and I’ll even make a sketchbook one of these days to post. I’m sure if got lotsa stuff lying about.

I’m not too worried about the design side of concpet art b/c I’ve already graduated from college in graphics design and advertisement with a 90 average (sorry for honking my horn here xD). I’m not saying I’m a prodigy but I should have the foundations of what I need to keep pushing myself towards my goals.

Thanks you again for all the great job ideas. Do you have any recommended ways of prepareing for/ have any insights for getting into any of the more entertainment based suggestions such as toy design or table top game design, or hell even the scientific drawing suggestion? I’d greatly appreciate it.

Seriously, thanks for all the great help. If theres anything I can do to return the favour, let me know!
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#14
A note: HTD and HTR from Scott Robertson are two separate books.

At this stage it's probably more useful to be focused on learning and doing consistent work, as well as figuring out what you enjoy. You may be all gung ho about concept art now for example, but once you actually start doing some it might change.

You need a folio to showcase any work. The work you show should reflect the work you are trying to get. Do your own work in those areas if that's what you really like. Sometimes it takes time to find what you really enjoy most and focus on for a while. Don't simply pick anything and do it for the sole reason that it's a job using art. Don't shotgun approach it (ie try to hit everything with a spray of mediocre art pellets).
The best tip is to do your own research, be persistent, set goals and hit them. It's usually a long journey to getting good enough , so be careful to not get too focused on immediate outcome or some point in the future when it all supposedly comes together, at the expense of your enjoyment of the learning process. Enjoy what you do every moment, and if you start to hate the amount of work or want to shortcut, it's probably a sign things are going off and don't bode well for sustainability in doing art in general.
good luck!

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