ThereIsNoJustice's Sketchbook
Hey man. I read your post about shapes and gradient and I kinda disagree with it. Nature is full of textures, gradients, variations everywhere. A lot of artist iv read, like Schmidt (the author of alla prima), Gurney, tell us to keep everything soft and have only hard edge where needed ( the where needed is hightly ambiguous though ahah ). Of course that only goes if you want something realistic !
As for posting every day, If I recall correctly Dave Rapoza and Even Amundsen did that and they got really good / even better. I think you shouldn't be too concerned with this, everyone work differently.
Kudo on your studies, look great !
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I respect your dedication to your study. I have been thinking a lot lately about productivity and wasted time. Another thing I have been considering is how I am spending more time watching tutorials and "trying to teach myself digital painting" versus just doing it. I thought it would be advantageous to set a time limit for myself (something I have never time before) when painting. I tend to always want to refine a piece and work the details for days on end. Right now I am in the learning phase, and I think I should be trying to bang out several 1-2 hour digital sketches or paintings a week. It's probably a better way for me to learn than to spent 10+ hours on a fully finished painting.

You have some nice studies here. I think I recognize the second to last posting. Is that referenced from one of Jordu Schell's sculptures? Who is Jet Jaguar by the way? You mentioned him a couple of times in your posts. I have been trying to think more about my edges and how to balance soft and hard edges. One thing I am doing is trying to paint with a single brush for each painting and not using opacity or flow at all. I'm also trying to blend with the brush and avoid the smudge tool (at least for now). I need to get used to using the basic brush and not relying on the smudge tool for blending. Besides, I have had some feedback regarding some of my paintings looking too "soft" or blended. I'm trying to achieve a more painterly look with brush strokes that look reminiscent of oil painting.

Good luck with your studies. Looks to me like you are on the right path.

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@Baldgate:

I'm not trying to be dogmatic. Like a lot of things in art, there can be a difference in opinion and approach here. In that post I was describing a new understanding that clicked for me about the relationship that shapes and edges have to each other.

@Shinkasuru:

I've found reading books and watching tutorials very valuable, but they can also become a time sink if I'm not careful. The amount of time to work on a piece is also tough. Doing both fast studies and some long pieces is probably best. Personally I have neglected the longer pieces and need to do more in that direction.

I don't know who makes most of these sculptures I draw. I mainly find them on pinterest and that site is terrible for finding out who made a sculpture, drawing, painting etc. but it sure is good to find a whole bunch of them. And Jet Jaguar is a guy who hangs out on the CD discord and yells at us to do better. He went to a proper art school and I think takes Harold Speed's books as his art bible.

Balancing soft and hard is the issue! Personally I think a lot of my own trouble comes from not looking hard at the image enough. You know, we have to really think about how each and every edge works, how every color should blend. I don't know how people say they can turn their brain off at any point while drawing or painting. To me it's a full brain workout. You don't need to use any particular brush either. Hard edged brushes can get soft edges by a light touch and color picking and blending. Soft brushes can get a hard edge by making them very small. So we are not trapped by using any particular brush into making any kind of painting. Brush just changes the way we have to go about it.

I have never understood the smudge brush. Every time I touch it, it lags out photoshop, it gives bad and unpredictable results. Doesn't matter if I'm using some great preset from a pro, or my own smudge brush, whatever. I would just stay away from it, but then again different tools work for different people. Maybe it will click for you.

As far as "painterly", I look at guys like Craig Mullins and I think their stuff is awesome, but I don't think that's the kind of thing that gets commissioned. I have somewhat gone in this direction with some studies and here and such, but I think it's probably a mistake to go too far with it. Other artists are impressed by how much can be accomplished with a few brush strokes in just the right place, but normal people just want stuff that looks clean and finished.

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I like where youre headed my dude, the two plane simplifcation thing is very very good for constructing nice images and compositions! And yea people who commission like things that are tight and if you can manage it, a little expressive, but you really gotta get the tight stuff solid first. 

JJ's a great dude, learn as much from him as you can. As for your halloween piece, well i like the lighting arrangement, Id like to give you a warning about skin tight dresses, as they can really hurt the textures of a piece. And look i made the same mistake. https://www.deviantart.com/fedodika/art/...-731147441 

It looks like weird, and its not very interesting design wise, its like a one piece bating suit that doesnt end at the crotch. 

Try blocking a unique silhouette for the dress, im assuming this is a raggedy type of dress since its cut unevenly, like fenghua zhong has some cool fabric designs that are ripped and interesting. Itd be cool if you had like a strong wind blowing to show some intensity to the scene, or a less safe camera angle. The way you have the rocks they kinda look like tree roots near the bottom, and I rhink you could play around more with their shape, like even try ommitting the ones on top to see what you could add back in for the mood you want. 

But you know, the skull looks good, Im interested to see where you go next :)

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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@Thereisnojustice Neither was I, I Just meant that I think it would be too bad if you denied yourself from using texture, soft edge, or w/e because you read it from a pro. I had a lot of blocks like that from art school, teacher were telling us '' never use soft brush ! never use smudge ! never use photos! only use hard edge and don't use brushstroke blabla'' and after a while I realized that everyone was doing it differently, and that a lot of people, very skilled one at that, used those tools. I felt like it was a stab in the gut , kinda. Sometime you get lead on by dogmatic people (the guru types) and forbid yourself of something that could have worked nice for you. Its super cool if you found something that work fine for you, looking forward to your next work !
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@ThereIsNoJustice: I definitely think a balance between long and short studies is important. Right now, since I am not doing much of anything, I think short studies are better for me. This way I am at least drawing and painting and not making excuses.

I hear what you are saying about painting being a full brain workout. I have a sculpting background, and most of the sculpture is an intense process with a lot of thought going into it. It's not until the end when I am detailing the piece that I can relax and go on autopilot.

I think you have to be careful when using the smudge brush. It can yield pleasing effects, but you have to know how much strength to use and where too use it. The first digital painting tutorial I watched used the smudge brush a lot, so I started using it. But now I don't use it as much. I have learned how to blend using just a pressure sensitive brush (even on 100% opacity and flow).

I kind of like both the clean and finished look as well as painterly. I'm not more fond of one style over another. It depends on what I'm painting and what style I want to go with. But I don't have enough experience anyway to know how to really achieve that painterly look digitally. Although I can't say I have tried either. But I'm working toward it.

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Been a few months but the good news I should be able to focus more on art. 

Bottom two portraits are part of a 1 hour challenge some friends and I are doing each day until April 12.

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Interesting progress.

My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from everyone error.
Teamwork make your dream work.
Asking help is the key to growth.
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Wow awesome new stuff!

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Some more 1 hour challenge faces. I have no idea how some people get an incredible likeness in such a small amount of time. Practice probably.

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i think youre doing a nice job on these but youll wanna find better reference for the females like the ones you seem to be using are glamour photos with no shadows visible, here prokos got a little article on it.

http://www.stanprokopenko.com/blog/2009/...reference/

The dude aboves portrait has good lighting and so does pretty much everything else

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 think the noise you put in those image are flattening your surface.Good value before texture.I feel like the texture you apply should be for the skin and not for the rest.

My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from everyone error.
Teamwork make your dream work.
Asking help is the key to growth.
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Fedo: you're right. Some of these I was kinda inventing the shadows a bit because I liked the rest of the image. It's a trap!

Dark: you may be right. I will give selectively texturing a try next time.

These next few heads were an experiment in understanding texture brushes. I always end up with a mess with these. I asked some friends about it, they say the canvas has to be huge. I was working at 6k by 3k. Zoomed way out so the final image should be ~16% zoom. I doubt the problem is technical. Any suggestions here are welcome.

I did use a texture brush on the monster guy baring his teeth, but only as a very initial step. I went back to using hard edge, digital brushes after that first stage. 

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Another try. Still timed 1 hour.

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Tried to build up too much with this one, I think. These were fun to stylize a lot more than usual. I can tell there's some improvement but I think I'll go back to hard edge brushes primarily.

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for the blonde girl your construction looks good, id say spend more time on here eyes and really design them and get the beauty she has in the ref. She doesnt have half the lash density, and the more time you spend on eyes the more powerful theyll be. Id also suggest throwing in some harder crisper edges and lines to seperate the forms better, it feels cloudy atm, which is cool but dont feel its entirely intentional.

And this will sound woo woo, but when im doing a good set of eyes, i just feel this sharp emotion that like "wham" you know that eye is drawn right, got a nice arch in the brow and the lashes are full and the pupils have the right amount of focus and what not

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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Fedo: Yeah, I threw away those texture brushes again. Just trouble, but nice to try every now and then. And I agree with the eyes, it makes a huge difference to have them just right.

Other news, my friends and I are now doing a "stylizing the figure" challenge. The goal is something like inputtwo or nico wright. So really pushing shapes and proportions, past the point of anatomy destruction to get something cool. This is something most of us have never tried.

On these I mostly skipped the gesture stage and went right to constructing and that's a big mistake. Really necessary here. Looking now, it seems some of these are barely pushed at all. Must go crazy next time!

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quick ones are good but try 20 minute lay ins and focus on accuracy and gesture of course. use the quick ones as a warmup then try to nail a lay in afterwards

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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