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Thanks Amit, good observation! I'm trying to get rid of that habit now. cracked Loomis open once more and found out that the proportions as i remembered them were slightly off.

Here's a little WIP inbetween things! Getting into the habit of turning my studies into full illustrations if possible, I'm having a much easier time motivating myself if i build little stories into every image. much fore fun! was tryna go with that adventure-y bond feel of the 60's here... with a little bit too much cream on the top on purpose
[attachment=82682]

WE'RE NOT READY FOR ALL THESE BOMBS YOU'RE DROPPING, JAAAAAAAAAAANNNN------!!
I seriously dig the above wip! Reminds me of three IPs I love, hot damn!
haha calm down sis :D <3

another wip update! thought i'd be done by now but i can't draw legs and had to redraw a couple of things more than once..  gonna finish it tomorrow hopefully and then do the khaleesi painting
Design drawing meant as a demo for Eyliana! the demo is in her CC thread, go check it out if you're also designing the spring house!
Can't stand looking at it anymore D: I still want to have the sky reflect in her suit aswell and fix the legs, but i'll have to do more studies before i get that working. Let's just hope i didnt procrastinate too hard on the khaleesi painting while doing this one..

edit: man, I just realized how little has changed since the last update.. re-painting the same thing over and over and over really isn't the most productive thing in the world. At least I'm really comfy at imagining cloth folds now
Cleaning up the mess that I left behind yesterday... damn, that kanji? what the heck was I thinking :D haha must've been very late
lesson learned: when you think you're done with your image, think again. repeat until done.
this is so damn good !!! love all your studied !!!
damn jan, how are you doing these!?
the DS painting is very cute and serene exactly like the game (Sarcasm)
but seriously what's your work ethic? how do you start the day?
those lines ! arghhh!!
Thanks for the nice words, you two! @Kurt right now I have a lot of time and I use 100% of it on getting better. Getting really motivated since I found a door into color, it really makes your stuff come alive when it works and that's just so satisfying.

The standard process is pretty much like this:

step 0: Think about what your image is going to be about, maybe lay down, close your eyes and visualize it, imagine variations on your idea, decide for one, grab your pen and get to work.
Right now i prefer doing this over doing thumbnails. It strengthens your inner eye and is also way faster! If you do this and you find out mid-process that your idea is bad or flawed, the first version of your image serves as a guiding post leading to a better one! I hate the feeling of drawing out things that i know aren't gonna cut it anyway or knowing exactly what is going to happen. I rather embrace failure and risk wasting a day on a bad idea - if i do, i'll probably never make that same mistake again and that alone makes that day worth it. If I just visualize the ideas i can see all the options right away and they look better than my finished images, so why do thumbs? :D Probably not the most professional way of going about it because it entails a bit more risk, but the reward is the joy of discovery and that will definitely shine through in your final image! It is also a better way of teaching yourself I believe because you figure out your mistakes in detail and learn how to fix them on the fly instead of doing thumbs to pick a direction that instantly looks good and that you know you can execute - that just builds a comfort zone and i don't want that. All that being said, I should still do it for images that really need to come out well in the end :D
step 1: choose the best idea that came up and figure out everything in lines first. All the problems that can be solved with line are being solved now.
step 2: Decide on a color scheme and lighting setup and block in the local values.
step 3: Switch on the light! One light source after another. Block in all the basic shapes that the light makes when it hits the forms. (the forms have already been figured out in step 1 and their local color is also done already so all this is, is turning yourself into a rendering machine and stick to the physics of light.
step 4: Do all the smaller stuff: block in ambient occlusions, smoothe the form transitions, add bounce light, subsurface scattering and light passing through things, texture details and other smaller shapes.. etc. Done!

I'm not following that order all the time, but i consider all these things when I make an image.
Damn that last portrait is really good! And explaining your process is very useful, I'm still somewhat new to digital painting so I do things in weird order when trying to go from line art to painting, reading or seeing how other people do it is always helpful c:
Thanks herkkusieni Damn, that's a difficult name...  finnish people lol :D glad you got something out of the process! If you're just starting out I'd recommend spending most of your time on getting better at drawing instead of painting (so just lines and forms, ignoring light) Then, if you pick up painting later it'll be much much easier!

Here's the full process of my CC#1 image! Damn, I forgot to paint the tattoo in :( Anyway, on to the next one!
Alright, time to analize what went wrong with it! Normally i do this as memos to myself in my physical sketchbook, but maybe someone else in this contest had similar problems and may get something out of this:

Design:
I only realized this after it was done, but there is very little in it that reminds of Game of Thrones. There is only Khaleesis face, and I didn't manage to get a lot of likelness so this could be just a mad max fanart and that wasn't the task. To improve this, I could have:
- make her face bigger on the composition (closer to the cam) and study her portrait more to get a better likeness
- keep the silhouette of the throne from Game of Thrones, mine is similar idea-wise but the shape doesn't remind a lot of the original so people may miss the connection. I also could have lit the throne from behind and not cut it off on 3 sides to enhance the silhouette.
- add more GOT stuff and be less faithful to the MM universe. The illustration doesn't have to make sense in either universe, all it has to do is be a connection between the two. Not sure how to do that yet, though.

Composition:
- get the camera closer to her face
-make the image about less stuff (her face, the throne and maybe a bored expression on her face with the dragon as a secondary fp would have been enough. Right now there is too much stuff going on and not enough focus.
- the environment doesn't matter. A throne is enough, everything else is just distracting.

Values and lighting:
- Do some value thumbs next time. right now there is next to no indication in the values of what's important here. too much stuff gets too much light and that's confusing
- Less light sources. 1 would have been enough. Just strong top lighting and some bounce from below to model the forms. easier to paint, less confusing and more moody and elegant.

Color:
- Don't ignore the local values so much. I just stylized the colors but didnt shift the halftones towards the local colors so a lot of the realism is gone.
-more focus. be sparse with high chroma and organize it around important areas. right now everything is equally garish, the colors don't help to tell the story.

Anatomy:
- the anatomy is stiff and i had a lot of trouble getting the proportions right, which is also due to the extreme angle. Next time do a better job of hiding your weaknesses and nail the areas that you show.
- do some portrait studies of her face before painting

Perspective:
- the construction is correct and the angle has been chosen for story reasons but somehow it's not working as well in the painting as it did in the linedrawing. The bad values flatten the image so the depth that could have been there is lost now. Keep a similar angle, but support it with all other parts of the image!

Overall:
-simplify, simplify, simplify.
-less stuff
-focus the whole comp and all aspects of the image on what matters in the illustration.
-invest more time into planning. do thumbs for the drawing, the values, the colors and the design AFTER the basic idea is down (which stays the same from last try so that's solved)
-nail the anatomy
-nail the portrait
-manage your time better
-sleep matters

Alright! Since there is 1 more week until the next topic is up, i'll completely re-do this entire challenge just for myself. I'm still into my idea & wanna do a better job on it. Gives me another project in the meantime to work on. Deadline: 3rd of april, 10pm german time.
Ahh your ambition/vision is really nice. The new piece has loads of potential and you made a really good go of it (and with analysing your weaknesses too, a really great skill to have).

I think your biggest weakness is with your proportions/anatomy. This can be bandaged a bit by getting a good reference (just shoot a selfie of yourself if you don't have any housemates you can rope into it), but the only way you'll fix it in the long run is by doing that anatomy practise. Your figures are looking a bit doughy at the moment and the only way you'll fix that is learning how the figure is constructed and how it moves.

For colour, don't be afraid to throw in more varied colours! At the moment because it's so duotone it removes a lot of the realism from the image, as if the whole thing is a sculpture from qhite plaster that's being lit from above and below with coloured lights. Doing studies of some subtle light (such as overcast light) might help you with your local colour understanding.

Keep up that vision, it'll get you far!
Thanks Eristhe! you're totally right about the anatomy problems, I'm workin on it!

Here are some comps for the 2nd go on the CC image and some arms from imagination
"Why am I wearing this again?" *chuckles*
"Come on Jen, you know the deal. Just two more blocks and we're through the dragon stuff"
"Alright, alright, let's do this."
"Finally! I started thinking we'd be here till tomorrow. Fine, look straight into the camera and give me that lolipop attitude again. Yesss, yes! very good"
"Tommy?"
"yes, babe?"
"I think I blinked"
A new shipment of values has arrived!
Begone, bad values! Begone forever!
Those 2nd CC comps are insane, really nice!
Hnngg, just flipped through your sketchbook. Your lines are magnifienttttttt!! I love them so much. So solid! So confident! And your designs kill my tiny black rabbit heart with their beauty.

The way you do hands and anatomy is so sweet. Looks like you take your time on those and go slow? Do you tend to be sketchy and clean up or do you just throw down those lines?

I'm super sketchy but my problem is a severe lack of time, so I kinda do frantic "omg add as many lines as possible and maybe something will come out." I'm trying to tighten up and get more solid, accurate, and quick.

Keep up the work, can't wait to see more!
Thank ye two!
@arapersonica: if your problem is a lack of time, make time for it! but if you really can't squeeze more drawing time out of your day and you're just feeling stressed when drawing, relax. this is not a race. get it done right, no matter how long it takes. next time, it'll be faster but only if you learned something last time. so don't rush it, nothing is gained that way. For getting better at lineart, delve deep into learning perspective. good lines are just lines that show forms correctly. And if you wanna hit a certain style, don't be ashamed to study someones lineart for style. analize the lineweights, where they are and why and what else you can notice, write it down. you'll be surprised how easy it is to copy someones lineart style. but after that, give it your own tweaks. your taste will develop over time and you'll get more conscious of your own taste the more you draw and so will your own style. (not that i have a style yet, but i feel like it's coming slowly)

anyways, here's a more detailed version of the 2nd take of the CC#1 and a dramatic bean :D Maybe I'll try and take it into color someday and finish it if i like it enough but for now that's all I'll do for it now. Right now I just want to learn about rendering, hence the bean :D
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