View Full Version : Ayla P.'s Sketchbook
February 5th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Hi all! I decided to go ahead and stop being shy and make a sketchbook thread. It'll take me a little bit to get my newest works up here, so for starters I'll post a couple of my favorite older pieces.
I'm only 17 (June 22, 1990), I'm a senior in high school right now, and looking for a good art college to go to for hopefully Special Effects Design.
I've been learning how to draw since I was about 5, knew that's what I wantde to do with my life, but didn't see it as anything but a hobby because I didn't think I could make a living off of it (yes, I really did think about that kind of crap when I was five years old...that's probably why I act like a child now.). Then when I was 11, I found out I could do art professionally, so I've been teaching myself every day since then. I've been self-taught completely up until I started my senior year (retarded, I know, but they always took me out of art classes...even though I need 4 to graduate...). So anyway, crit hard please, I want to learn as much as I can! (Duh)
This one is Sarah and Jareth from Labyrinth :D
This one was done January 4, 2007.
And this one is a picture of John Wayne for my grandmother. (My camera took a not very nice picture, but it was the best I could do for the moment D: )
This one was done June 8, 2007.
I know there's a lot of mistakes with these, and I can see a lot of them, but please tell me some mistakes you guys see with them. I'm sure I can't see all of them, so any crits would be lovely. :D
February 5th, 2008, 11:29 PM
This is one I did for art class. It's V from V For Vendetta (my favorite movie) It was one of my first times using India ink and a calligraphy pen, so I think it turned out pretty good. Again please, any critique would be helpful on this one. I know the anatomy is a little off (I used a reference picture from another artist who made those mistakes, and I didn't have time to fix them D: ), but I need help on maybe some ink technique. I really liked working with it and I want to do more ink pictures in the future. :D
Done on December 7, 2007.
And this is a 3 minute doodle I did with my little brother and sister when they were trying out window markers. I wanted to test them out too. :D
February 15th, 2008, 01:46 PM
This is something I drew a while ago. Decided to slap some color on it and shade it in Photoshop to demonstrate how to use the burn/dodge tool to someone. No, the picture is not traced, the only thing that was referenced was the face. It's my own creation of what Deadpool would look like with a symbiote. Shaded in about a half an hour, I'd say, so it's not too well done. Wasn't meant to be, it was just for a demonstration. :P
February 15th, 2008, 02:11 PM
very nice, nice work with the dodge and burn tool. focus on the details and shading. give the darkest the most depth and the lightest with lines. dont over do your work with lines, only shades.
For the Vendetta drawing, it couldve been better without the outline, just the shades and the lighting. hope this helps :rocker:
February 15th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Ya deadpool is a cool character , but he looks kinda massive for a deadool-symbiot. My advice is shrink his muscle mass , his hands to and draw like muscle texture over and burns like you know , deadpool has burns . Try to think of him as a deadpool on steroyds , but more like spiderm man when he got a symbiote. But my first advice wold be , work your anatomy , draw more gesture poses ...
February 19th, 2008, 10:04 AM
Thank you guys for the help!
Yeah, I've been working on my anatomy for awhile since the last picture was drawn, been trying to get everything down. I've even just finished an anatomy class so hopefully that will help some too. And with the V drawing, I used a direct reference and wasn't really putting much thought into what I thought the picture should have, it was mainly just to experiment with ink. I hadn't really used it until then. But next time I do a drawing like that I will definitely keep that in mind! Thank you guys so much for the help, I need it!
February 19th, 2008, 11:24 AM
mmm great, just keep posting and ill keep swinging in and dropping a few lines for ya. :rocker:
February 23rd, 2008, 12:51 PM
This is a cover I'm doing for my manga I'm making (school project). This is about 7-8 hours of work total, so far.
I know the anatomy isn't the best, but I'm learning :D
February 26th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Alright, this is what the finished version of my manga cover is. I might make some final minor adjustments, but other than that it's done!
March 10th, 2008, 10:16 AM
This is the first page of the comic. I know it has a hellva lot of mistakes, and I see a couple...though I think it might be too late to fix them (well, maybe not, since I just got a tablet :D).
I am really new to making comics/manga/whatever, and to inking said pages, so most of this is experimental stuff for me. If anyone could give me any crits, that would be really awesome. Please? Because I REALLY need to get better.
March 10th, 2008, 10:44 AM
the v its really good man! nice ink....mm and i suggest to change the font of the title in ur manga cover.....oh and in ur page i think u r using to many ink lines and everything get a little confuse...try to clean up those boxes....keep it up!!
March 10th, 2008, 01:10 PM
Cool, thanks for the tips! I'll make sure to not make so many lines from now on and clean up the boxes. And I don't know what font to use...any suggestions on a certain style that would look good with it?
March 12th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Here's a WIP of the second page:
March 12th, 2008, 08:56 PM
Study study study anatomy :)
Then you can do the anime style stuff :)
March 12th, 2008, 09:09 PM
I really do study anatomy, I draw from life (none of the sketches are here, though. No scanner and I don't really know how to take a good picture of my art D:), I even took an anatomy class last semester on top of the 5-6 anatomy books I've read. Lol I know I need to keep studying (I'm not near as good at it as I want to be, of course), but this manga is a project for school that I have to do (senior projects...if I don't do it I fail the whole 12th grade.), so I'm hoping this will be a good learning experience to help my anatomy skills along with inking, digital work in Photoshop, drawing, ect.
I know some things are off on the anatomy here, so will you help a girl out and point some out for me? I need to know what I need to fix and watch out for :(
March 13th, 2008, 03:39 PM
Here's page 2. I think this one turned out a lot better, but it still needs work. :D
March 13th, 2008, 03:44 PM
I heart Labyrinth. =)
Your comic panels are coming along nicely. :) Definite improvement
March 13th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Thanks! Yeah, I love Labyrinth. It's, like one of those movies that I can recite the whole dialog and sing all the songs in the soundtrack. xD
March 15th, 2008, 10:48 PM
Here's an apple I painted in Photoshop from life :D
First attempt, so...well, I tried, right?
April 10th, 2008, 10:08 PM
Here's a WIP of the fourth page of my comic:
Here's a WIP of my entry for this weeks CHOW :) :
And here's a 20 minute comic strip I had to do for my English newsletter. (This is so true, btw.) :
April 11th, 2008, 04:14 PM
You say Crit hard on your sketchbook? Very well than..
You need to work harder on your rendering skills, I suggest practicing with spheres and or basic shapes. Look around you and see how everyday things are lighted. Your proportions on your figures are not that bad, but they are off. You can correct this by doing figure studies and measuring before putting down final lines. I take it your going for a manga/anime style.. not my style but I wish you luck never the less.
Wish you the best..
April 13th, 2008, 11:00 PM
Well, for now, yeah, I'm working with manga and anime, for a school project. I want to work on a little of everything, though, so that's what I try to do. I do do figure studies when I get a chance, but with my lifestyle I don't get much time for my art right now. After I move out, maybe, but right now I have to work with what I can. Thanks for the crits.
May 1st, 2008, 12:03 AM
A quick thing I did while messing around in Corel Painter and Photoshop CS.
May 15th, 2008, 10:34 PM
This is the lead singer of Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickenson. In honor of going to see their concert on the 18th of June, I wanted to do a picture of the singer at least, though I'd like to do the whole band. They're quickly becoming my favorite band, if they already aren't.
Of course I used a photo for reference, but I can't link to it; I completely forget where I got it from.
Used graphite pencils ranging from 2H to 6B.
May 16th, 2008, 10:12 PM
Colored above picture in Photoshop CS.
I don't like this version as much as the original, but it was good practice I guess.
October 21st, 2008, 02:57 AM
Holy shit. Long time no update. Well you'll be happy to know I wasn't completely slacking off. I had to take a bit of a break for my family, mainly my little brother, to try and help raise money for some therapy for him in Florida (he's autistic). So we went to Panama City, Florida for a week In August for his therapy, and I stayed until September to check out the community college there and to relax with my friend. I'll be going for a pre-art degree in January, and after my two years there I plan on going to SCAD. Anyway, I did get some sketching done, but not as much as I'd like. I'll post the ones I think are ok.
These two were done while I was in Panama City.
This is a picture of someone's Dungeons and Dragons character they wanted me to draw and help create an outfit for. If you couldn't tell they asked that there be a lot of straps:
This is a picture I drew while sitting on the porch of a cabin I was staying in on the Panama City's Naval Base. It was the view I had from the porch. :P
You'll have to bear with the relatively crappy photos, I'm afraid. I don't have a scanner at the moment.
October 21st, 2008, 03:00 AM
These were some drawings I got of my own feet from life. :D These were done a couple of weeks ago.
October 21st, 2008, 03:17 AM
These are rough concepts of some graphic symbols that I've been commissioned for for a new business. The details were that he needed a name that was visually appealing and a graphic symbol to match. He also said he wanted them to symbolize growth and progression, but the rest is pretty much up to me. Any crits or ideas on these two would be particularly helpful to me, because he needs them relatively soon. These were done today. Thanks in advance!
November 22nd, 2008, 05:32 AM
Here's a concept buster sword design with basic flat colors that I came up with for a D&D character. I needed to mix a tribal style feel along with a typical "Cloud-esque" buster sword, and this is what I came up with.
The sword is approx. 5' 5".
I'm typically not a big fan of over-sized swords that no one should be able to realistically wield, but this was fun. I've never really designed any weapons before, so it was a challenge to think of a blade that big and how to create everything around thinking about how one could actually use it. It was actually a lot more fun to design than I thought it would be. :D
November 22nd, 2008, 07:11 AM
Looks like a normal sword to me, in terms of size and how it appears to be wielded. Looks like something you could hold with one hand instead of something that is 5'5".
A sword that is held with two hands doesn't have a groove in it for the hand like in that one. This sword also looks designed to be much smaller and held with one hand.
You say you draw from life and study from your anatomy books, but are you actually copying out the technique onto paper as studies? One of the easiest ways to pin point problems in your art is to look at how you handle the basics and essentials. The more you understand the basics and essentials, the better you will understand how to apply them to your drawings.
Your proportions are weak and so is your anatomy. Your characters' poses are also very stiff and don't particularly have a real flow to them. To remedy the flow, I'd suggest doing gestures. Check out www.posemaniacs.com , it's a site that has many different poses for you and even a 30 second gesture drawing option you can use.
Looking at some of your real life studies and some pictures you've copied, I'd say that you get the general idea down, but you're not paying enough attention to the proportion of things. For example, Jareth's face is way too wide and in the movie(which I love BTW), David Bowie's face is much more fine and thinner. The guy with the red shirt you did, he looks fine at the top of the drawing, but as you go down, you lost the consistency of proportion. He gets a little too small as it goes down.
I think you could fix your proportion problem by observing your subject more carefully but also by doing gestures to get a feel for how the whole body should be drawn together. If you are drawing out anatomy studies, I would suggest that you do more and keep it up. Otherwise, you have a very good feel for drawing, you just need to work on fine tuning the basics.
November 22nd, 2008, 07:45 AM
Ah, finally someone comments. Thanks for the critiques and the comments! Anyway, I realize the sword looks small by itself, but I'm hoping that when I put a figure next to it it'll look more the length it's supposed to. But, yeah, I see what you're saying, and I'll try to keep that stuff in mind next time I design a sword. :)
I do try to study from life and from my anatomy books, but over the past few months I've had a real problem being able to do anything even concerning drawing, and I don't get a whole lot of time anymore. My step-dad left my family and I about 7-8 months ago (which is me, my mother, my little sister who's seven years old, and my little brother, who's 3 1/2 and autistic...), and ever since then I've had to pull the weight of being a sister and another parent, and unfortunately my drawing suffers a lot from that. Though, I am moving out and starting to a community college in January for an AA in Art, and hopefully from there going to Savannah College of Art and Design. I barely get 5 minutes to myself anymore, because I'm usually watching my little brother and/or sister all day, and I clean the house when everyone goes to bed, and by that time I wanna sleep really bad myself. I mean, I'm not complaining or anything. I've heard a lot of people making it out of FAR worse, but I'm just trying to explain why I don't seem to be getting any better over this length of time. xD
Is there anything you or anyone else could recommend that I do WHILE I'm watching kids, at least until I move? I have to be able to get up at a moment's notice, so I can't do much with the computer when I'm watching them. The only thing I could think of was to draw the things around the house (like a blanket draping off of a couch) and my own feet. :/
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
November 22nd, 2008, 09:39 AM
You could get a sketchbook and a pencil and draw the kids o_o I actually think that would be a great thing to do. Drawing from life is what teaches you the most anyway. And when you have some time for yourself, you can do studies of anatomy stuff that you'll try to understand with the real deal when you draw your siblings :O
November 22nd, 2008, 02:33 PM
I agree with Algenpfleger's suggestion. Keep drawing things you see from around the house and when you do have the time, do the anatomy studies. Even just keeping a sketch pad for doodling by the phone when you have to answer calls or if you're watching a movie with your siblings or TV... if they're the kind that sit still enough.
I guess, just use your time wisely for art. Draw the things that are important in improving, like real life, anatomy studies and things like that. There is a free George B. Bridgman PDF online and I know there's some Andrew Loomis anatomy books around too on the Internet. Then when it comes to your creative work and applying that, you've got an art class, right? You can apply it there. Actually, when I was in high school, I just doodled whenever I had the chance.
November 22nd, 2008, 07:18 PM
*MAJOR FACE PALM* God, why didn't I think of that?! Ugh, I'll be sure to do that more often. xD Unfortunately, they're typically always on the move, but hopefully I can catch them when they are sitting still. :D
Alas, I graduated high school this summer, so no more art classes, I have all housework. :c
Yeah, I have all of the Loomis .pdfs, but haven't been able to read them (my computer is in my room, and I have to stay pretty much out of there when I'm watching the kids). Oh, and I'll try to find that Bridgeman .pdf, I didn't know there was one lol. Thanks for all the help, guys!
January 22nd, 2009, 08:02 PM
Sorry, I'm mainly just too lazy to try and get good pictures with my camera of sketches and such, but I am drawing, whether I update this thing or not, lol.
Anyway, I bought Matt Dixon's The Fantasy Artist's Figure Drawing Bible a few days ago, and I haven't read all of it yet, but so far I think I've already learned some really useful tips from it. It goes well with my collection of a ba-jillion art books and one DVD (Marko's character creation one, actually!). I can always add more, though! (Man...I really need to read those Loomis and Bridgman PDFs I downloaded so long ago...)
So here's a character drawing I finished today. This character is done, but I'm adding more to the picture (her pose is suppose to be relatively boring here, it's just a static shot, mainly to show character details).
Drew the lineart by hand, and then shaded and colored with Photoshop.
Figured out I really need to work on hands...
And human anatomy in general...
And a lot of other stuff...
Oh, and a question for anyone who reads this and knows better than I. I've been doing some gesture drawings with www.posemaniacs.com, and I just wanted to know if they're supposed to look like a 2 year old scribbled all over and it happened to go into the basic premise of a human-esque form. Because that's what happens to mine. If anyone can help, it's greatly appreciated!
EDIT: Dear GOD those legs are atrociously proportioned! I need to work harder on learning leg anatomy especially.
February 1st, 2009, 07:29 PM
Yesterday, I was browsing around the forums, and with all the hype over the Battle of the Sexes, I had ventured into the challenge arena for the first time to follow up. And I saw "Teen Challenge" for the first time, and I thought, 'hey I'M a teen, and now that I moved and have some extra time on my hands (don't ask how, long story), I should actually participate in some challenges! '.
So went into the thread, and saw the topic was Insomnia, so I thought, 'hey, I could draw something for that!'
And then I saw it.
And I went 'D:'.
I thought, 'Four hours?! I can't do a good enough picture in four hours! I'm too slow! ...well I'm going to try ANYWAY because I want to enter even though I'm pretty damn sure I won't win! '
So I did.
And here's my picture, made in roughly four hours. It's not the best, but I had fun doing it, and I needed to work on my speed with drawing and such anyway. I mean, that's kinda of what the challenges are for, right? Improving and having fun?
Anyway, here's my entry...
February 4th, 2009, 05:43 PM
Hi Ayla, cool sb you've got here.
You've already improved since you started this little book, and I hope you can keep it up.
As I've said I really like your TC entry, some good life drawings and photo studies as well. And I also dig the manga comics, But I'm very pleased that you have moved on from manga!
I think everybody goes tho that stage of drawing manga (I know I did), And I think the faster you can move on from it the better, as it stunts your drawing ability and dose not help your drawing skill in any way.
Or at lest that what I think. Anyway like the very wise algenpfleger said, I think it would be good if you could draw your little brother and sister on your time off while there watching TV or something.
Real life drawing teaches you about form light and shape more than anything else.
Oh and I really think its great how you seen to put your family first, I know you probably don't think much of it, but not a lot of people would do it.
keep up the good work and if you can fit in any anatomy studies that would be great.
February 4th, 2009, 11:08 PM
Ah, thank you, thank you, Jailhouserock2! Yeah, I do love me some manga, although the stuff I posted here I actually had to do for a 6-month long school assignment, even though I didn't want to exactly lol. Anyway, yeah, I really need to study anatomy MUUUUCH more than I do currently, although just at the beginning of January I moved out of my mom's house and moved a few states away with my friend to go to college (for art :)), so I have a lot more time to focus on my art, although I can't use my little brother and sister as models anymore, although I guess I can use my friend, lol. I have been reading Matt Dixon's book, and it's actually helped me some with anatomy, but more with the rendering and color theory (which I need to study much more of too...man, I'm behind!)
And thanks for the nice comments, I felt terrible that I couldn't focus on my art while I was at home, but I felt my family was more important at the moment, and I don't feel bad about moving out anymore, because my mother finally got a good job, a babysitter for the kids (that was originally one of my roles), and they all seem to be doing really well even though I'm not there, so I can concentrate much more on my art and my schoolwork now (which I have been doig even though I can't post everything here...taking a good picture of ALL of my crappy sketches, and believe me there are a lot more now, is quite a hassle!). Anyway, thanks again for the comments!
Alright, I actually have something new to put up! A work-in-progress, but still.
Believe it or not, this actually started out as a lion-head door knocker.
So this Christmas, a lot of my presents were art books (yay!), and one of them was ZBrush Character Creation: Advanced Digital Sculpting. And seeing as I just recently got ZBrush, and now have the time to read the book and try to figure it out, I did. The first 'assignment' in the book is to sculpt a simple lion-head door knocker, to get familiar with the different tools and such.
Well I started the same way, but I'm not very well versed in animal anatomy (which is again something ELSE I need to work on in the sea of inadequate abilities of mine...xD), so while I was sculpting it it looked more humanoid than lion-oid. As I was looking at it, I noticed it kind of looked like Hellboy. So, I decided to sculpt Hellboy, or try to, because all I was doing was trying to figure out all the tools (if it's not blindingly obvious I have never used ZBrush before I did this :/). So I was sculpting the lower portion of the face...and it looked terrible, so I flattened it all to start again. Then I was looking at it and it kind of looked like a mask. So I just played around with that idea, and trying out different brushes to see what effect they had along with different settings and so on and so forth.
Well, this is what I finished with. :D
It's name is Fluffy, for now, and it was a complete accident, Half of the design on there I did by accident, but it ended up looking cool (IMO) so I kept it.
I plan on importing it into PS to add a splash of color, so keep checking in, it'll be here eventually, lol.
February 6th, 2009, 05:27 PM
I decided to color it. *shrugs* Don't know why. I guess I just kinda liked it. xD
February 9th, 2009, 11:03 PM
Alrighty, for the people that know about my comic, I plan on starting it up again. Revamped, though. I'll be re-doing all of the pages that I originally started with, and then hopefully continue on from there. I wanted to start the comic again all of the sudden, so after the four main character turnarounds, I'll be working on the pages in my spare time.
The comic won't be in a full on manga style this time, though. I plan on just doing a mesh of things I like from other styles. In manga, I like the panel setup and the flow of the comics along with the screening technique, but the art won't be in the same style. Instead, I'll be doing my own cartoon style. Not really manga, not really Western, but it takes some of the attributes from both.
Anyway, this is Creator 1, Ayla. Please ignore the anatomical mistakes (I did!), as this was mainly for character design reference, to pick out a shading style, and color reference. I did make a not of what needs to be corrected, but the focus wasn't on anatomy, so please excuse the horrendous-ness of the body. I've decided on a more realistic version of a hatch/cross-hatch, but the color was shaded with dodge/burn really, really quickly because the values didn't look good when I added flat color. Again, not what I'd normally do, but I just needed a reference sheet. The majority of the comic, if not the whole comic, will be done in black/white realistic hatching/cross-hatching with screentones, but in any case I get enough people that enjoy this comic and want to read more, enough time, and enough people paying me for this (;)), then I'll go full color :P Doubtful, but I'm saying it just in case.
Now for some very very basic info on Ayla. Story info later, I'm tired.
Name: Ayla P.
Friends: Josh, Kris, Eric
Age: 18 (currently)
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 150 lbs
February 21st, 2009, 12:59 AM
So here's a T-Shirt concept I'm working on. Lol I know it's not perfect, but I like it. This is for all the other Obama supporters out there :D
Now if I could only figure out how the hell to use Illustrator...
February 21st, 2009, 06:02 AM
The last one is a great idea, but I'd suggest cropping the image and using less lines. It'll be more readable from far and better for a t.
February 21st, 2009, 11:10 AM
Thanks for the input, Janos! Yeah, it does look a little busy, doesn't it...I'll be sure to take out some lines and crop the image, but not sure if I should leave them in for just a regular print or not...oh well, since I'm not dealing with prints right now I'll just take 'em out. :P
February 21st, 2009, 06:49 PM
Here's my final design for the T-Shirt. Lol I know it's not perfect, but I still like it. :) I greatly appreciate anyone who buys, all of the funds are going to putting myself through college and living expenses.
Thanks for looking! ;)
February 22nd, 2009, 05:34 AM
Hi there Ayla. I was going to say a few things, but then I noticed that algenpfleger and Jailhouserock were already here :teeth:. Still...
...i can see improvements in anatomy. The second problem (as you already pointed out somewhere) are the colors. In the post #35 the colors are looking much better than for example in the obama piece (which is otherwise really good btw!). When youŽre planning to leave linework in your piece, make the shading more contrasty, to make the linework correspond more with shading. IŽd also suggest to use 100% flow on your brush, when doing coloring. You can always soften the shading afterwards, decreasing the flow again.
Oh and the #36 rocks! I love the atmosphere in it. Keep it up!
February 23rd, 2009, 12:29 AM
Thank you! I'll be sure to keep that thing about shading line art in mind! Also a can do on the brush thing, I'll be sure to try it! Thanks for the crits :D
February 23rd, 2009, 12:38 AM
That Obama ones awesome as hell Ayla!
cool stuff keep at it!
February 23rd, 2009, 01:15 AM
xD Thanks so much! Hey, if you wanna buy it on a shirt, you should totally check out http://www.cafepress.com/aylap ;D
Not that I'm suggesting anything or anything...:P
February 23rd, 2009, 11:39 AM
Good progress on that Obama/statue tshirt. I'd suggest doing his suit in a neutral colour like grey or black. I just don't like the blue. The green of the statue is great though!
And definitely try to make the shading more contrasting.
February 23rd, 2009, 06:23 PM
Ah, ok, will do! Thanks for the advice! :)
February 23rd, 2009, 06:33 PM
Here's a random ass character design I drew up today. Referenced the pose, but everything else was from imagination. Still working on my character design skills, if it's not too painfully obvious, lol
Please excuse the bad photo, really trying to find a good setting on my camera that'll take most excellent pictures of pictures. >_>
February 25th, 2009, 12:36 PM
In the process of updating, but I have to stop for the moment. Working on making the shading more contrasting. Fixed Obama's suit from blue to gray. Looking any better?
February 25th, 2009, 09:04 PM
A picture I was requested to do for a t-shirt. This is Joe Biden, our Vice President. The quote under it is from Obama in the address to Congress a day or so ago.
Available on T-shirts here: http://www.cafepress.com/aylap
Working on making the size bigger, so you might want to wait to buy one until I finish. Unless this is ok for you, in which it's ok for me! :)
March 2nd, 2009, 03:17 AM
I'm not sure how much you want comments on your older works, so I'll give some general suggestions:
-One pattern I see is about hands: they're kinda small. Keep in mind that hands are big enough to cover most of the face. Especially in the anime pictures, looks like you haven't used references for the hand positions (like fists and things) -- so you'd probably do well to do some hand studies.
-Dodge and burn: I dunno if you still use this, but it's best to be avoided. It tends to give a very poor sense of edges/forms (see here (http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=51913) and here (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=125553) for useful stuff about edges), and to me it seems incongruent with black lineart and anime style stuff -- a harder shading would look better IMO. Another thing is that dodge/burn is bad at picking good-looking darker shades. For example, you'd usually want to desaturate the shadows a bit, but burn doesn't do this well. A bigger thing pure dodge/burn messes up is adding more colours from the light (using cool shades for the shadows, accounting for reflected light, etc.).
-I get the impression that you include some lines because you 'know they're there', but don't understand why they're there so much, so they're either slightly off or they're an unnecessary detail, or they just don't add to it. In general, I try to only draw lines when they help with my understanding of the forms, or if they help the viewer understand them. This is especially noticeable/common with folds: people will draw lines because they know that there are supposed to be folds around there, but they don't actually have a good idea of what shapes the fabric is making. So it looks messy/confused. You could try painting just the light/shadow of folds -- without any outlines -- to get a better sense of the shape/form of the fabric, and imagine it in 3D more.
Another thing you could try is erase every line that you drew because you thought something should go there but didn't really think about what/why, and think about if it's really necessary to include that line, and if it is, think about how it fits with the rest and work out its form and why it's there. (Have you ever seen drawings where the collar bone is way too high? That's a good example of when someone 'knows it's there' but doesn't add to the understanding. Collar bones help with understanding the perspective of the shoulders, and help see how shoulders are connected and their interaction with the neck, and it keeps the shoulder blade from moving around, and so on. Understanding how they work means you can draw them way better, and they help the whole picture make more sense to the viewer. The same is true with pretty much everything, if you work out how it relates to the stuff it's near/connected to.)
-Harder shading! It's easy to fall into the pit of soft shading, because it's easy and you can hide mistakes more. But with hard shading, you have to know what you're doing or else it's more obvious when you have a misconception. So it's a great way to learn your weaknesses (especially when the great people at CA can point 'em out).
To get good at art fast, be bold -- make bold strokes so it's obvious straight away when you don't understand something. Expect mistakes. Try to do the shading fast, and fix it up after you have the basic shadows down. The faster you do it, the faster you'll be able to discover mistakes and fix 'em.
-Again on shading: I once heard that it can be useful to think of shading like adding light, instead of doing the midtones and then adding shadows and highlights. So work out what the light must be hitting, and add lighting to those parts (instead of assuming the whole thing will be light and you just need to darken the covered parts and lighten the sticky-out parts).
PS: ... You have the same birthday as me. 8D
March 2nd, 2009, 04:04 AM
Oh, also, I recommend avoiding Comic Sans. It's really overused, and isn't really a good comic font (despite what its name might suggest). There are a bunch of good free comic fonts you can download from here: http://bancomicsans.com/fonts.html (I personally like Anime Ace for manga. :3)
March 2nd, 2009, 04:27 AM
O_O Woah! Thanks so much for all the help!! 8D
Yeah, I'm really trying to work on the shading thing now, actually. And I sadly knew about the dodge/burn deal, but people wanted to see something done in PS when I was in my art class, so I took a crappy old work and made it a colored crappy work, lol. Basically I was lazy and didn't feel like taking the time to color it well; I had already seen the mistakes in it and thus decided not to give time to proper coloring...lol.
I've found out recently that I have a hard time with drapery! xD So I'm going to be doing some more studies of that like you suggested, and I'll try not to outline everything so much. :P
And you're totally right! I need to be more bold, and I just started really focusing on that aspect. I'm reading Art & Fear, along with starting on my collection of Loomis books and Bridgeman books, but damn! I can barely force myself to read something on the computer, I don't know why. I'm really trying to work on that, and it's not too bad to read them now, but I just really like to have the book that I can take with me. I heard that some places will let you print out the book for a cost, but I have no clue where. DX I'll see if I can't find a place, though. :P
*sigh* I really should use reference more when I don't know exactly how something looks...bad habit I'm trying to break. xD
Thanks again for all the help! :D
P.S.: :O! I've never met anyone with the same b-day as me! That's awesome! 8D
March 2nd, 2009, 06:15 AM
Maybe it'd be useful to think about outlines as reference points for shading/proportions/basic structure, but then focus more on shadows than lines. Then there will be natural lines caused by the shadows. (I'm trying that now, and it seems to work pretty well. ^^)
I haven't read Art & Fear -- any especially good excerpts from it? Or parts that made you think "oooh, I get it now". I googled it, and it seems potentially neat.
I know what you mean about reading on the computer. Especially with art books, it's just nice to have a paper copy sometimes. I printed out a couple Loomis books on a friend's laser printer (yay no ink, heh), but I think you can go to places that do photocopying and printing and get it reasonably cheap. Or you could use a printer from a school library if they give you free printing. But yeah, look around. :)
And yeah, same here with references. I always forget just how useful they can be -- I look back on my drawings with references and think "wow, that's surprisingly good compared to my other stuff", but when I'm actually drawing with one then all I can see is how much it doesn't look like the reference. XP Bad habit I guess, hehe.
Another thing I forgot to say (I have far too much to say XD ): You asked about what gesture drawings are supposed to look like, and if you were on the right track.. but then you didn't post them! So post them, even if they're bad. :) Actually, post them ESPECIALLY if they're bad, because then it's easier to see where you might be going wrong. :D
My attitude to gesture drawing (and any of these other drawing techniques that people/art classes recommend) is: only do it if you're actually learning something from it.
I think gesture drawing would help me (and probably you), in that it will help me see the 'bigger picture', instead of getting caught up in little details. (I have this problem where I focus on little details at a time, instead of pausing to look at the entire picture to see how it all fits together. This causes stuff like misalignment, poor compositions, unbalanced-ness, stiff/awkward/not-flowy poses, etc.)
It also gives a broad view of the human body and what shapes it makes and stuff, and can help with getting faster at drawing accurately. (Don Bluth -- famous animator/director, did lots of kids' movies and worked for Disney -- learnt to draw very precisely and very fast, so he only had to have tiny changes needed for animation work. So, I kinda see gesture drawings as good for working on precision+speed. :) )
Going back to what I was saying about understanding why the methods/exercises are useful before doing them: If you don't understand why they're useful, then you'll have a harder time getting the benefit for them ('cause you won't be thinking about them in terms of the thing they're supposed to help you improve, and won't be learning from them as much). So, instead of blindly following exercises (which I've noticed a lot of people taking art classes do -- including me before I realised I didn't know why I was doing it, hehe), think "Okay, what exactly is this supposed to help with? Why is this a good way of learning that thing over some other method of learning it? Is it the most efficient way for me personally to learn it, or would I find it easier to go another route?"
I recently read a CA sketchbook thread that I think has something of this attitude. He was saying how he resisted learning anatomy and Loomis and stuff, but then thought about it and worked out why it's good. I would post an excerpt, but it's kinda funny and hard to break up, so it's probably better to read the full version here (http://conceptart.org/forums/showpost.php?p=1198744&postcount=16).
March 2nd, 2009, 02:06 PM
Wow! Thank you so much for the help! x3
Yes! That's exactly how I end up drawing better, by knowing how it works, which requires me to study, study, study! (I'm still trying to get over the fact that I actually HAVE the time to study now...odd, I know >.>). In fact, that's how I can understand most things, from machines to mathematics, is by understanding how it works. And once you understand how it works, you can really get creative with it :3
Art & Fear is really awesome, yeah. I'm really sorry, I'll post some excerpts when I get a chance to, I just found out that I'm being kicked out of where I'm staying within the month, so I have to concentrate on finding a job as well as an apartment for today and probably for the rest of the month. So that's going to take a lot of time away from my studies...but I think having a place to live is worth it ^_^ Again, thank you for the help, and I'll finish this post whenever I get a chance to. :P
March 3rd, 2009, 09:09 AM
Hiii, aylap!! Good to read that you're working hard on the art! It's great that time's on your side right now, too! :D Since others have said what I was going to say, why repeat?? It's awesome advice and I'm glad you're listening!
If you wonder what gestures can do for you overtime, check out my sketchbook once in a while! O_O Lately I didn't get to do any gestures, but when I do they look much better than they used to! From that I can give characters more life, even when they're lying down. :3 It's a great tool to at least try out!
Also, check out blambot.com! The guy makes free and commercial comic fonts, and he also has a few great articles about making a comic, adding speech balloons (Comic Grammar), etc.
I had only one extra suggestion regarding an earlier comic piece: Don't worry too much about putting tones in until you got your outlines worked out. If you're putting everything in at once, you might get yourself overwhelmed with details! o_o Keep the beginning stages as simple for yourself as possible so we can see your engaging story!
March 16th, 2009, 10:35 PM
I love that scorpion on the window, but where's the wasp?
March 29th, 2009, 05:26 AM
Hey guys, sorry for taking so long to update! Well, things are going AWESOME for me right now. As I said earlier, my cousin and I got kicked out of where we were staying. We had stayed at our friend's house the night before we were kicked, and we get back and all of our stuff is packed up and we're told since we didn't tell her we were staying at a friend's house that we could just stay there again until we got our stuff. So I said to call one of our friend's that we had met in college to see if she could help us get our stuff and see if we could take it to a storage unit or something because I knew she had a pick-up truck. I thought we were going to have to live in that storage unit until we could find jobs, but as luck would have it, our friend said she takes roommates, and it's SUPER cheap to stay here! It's awesome, everyone we stay with is really nice, we have a nice room, and it's just generally awesome. My cousin and I try to help out around the house too, and we were just told a few days ago how much our friend appreciates it and that we're the best roommates she's ever had. It's so awesome.
The only thing that sucks is that the lady we were staying with before didn't pack all of my stuff, including Spore and an iPod wall charger. I'm still pissed about it because that stuff was expensive. >:C
Anyway, we don't have a car anymore, so that sucks, but my dad planned on giving me one anyway, but he still has to fix it up and then it still has to make it's way down here. Which'll be awhile I predict. So until we get a car, we can't get jobs either. Sucks. But I've decided I'm not going to worry about what I can't do right now and try to focus on my art while I don't have to worry about getting a job and while I have all of this free time. I'm going to go back to my hometown for a couple of months in the summer, and that's when my dad said it'll probably be until I can get the car (he said we'll just drive back in it), which'll be fine, 'cause that gives me a long time to study my ass off with my art. Also, my friend is moving down with us in August, so I plan on going to my hometown for a couple of months, and coming back a month before he comes down, so we can use that time to find a place for my cousin, our friend and I to live, as well as jobs. It'll all work out, and it'll be great.
So, as far as my art goes, unfortunately I've been slacking off a bit. *punches self for lazyness* I've just been trying to enjoy myself while I can as well, but I'm ready to start working on my art again like a mad woman! I'm going to try and finish reading the Loomis book I've been working on forEVER, hopefully I'll finish it tomorrow or the next day though. So anyway...
Lulie - Hee hee, I've been trying to find a good excerpt from the book, but I'm having a hard time! It's about not being afraid to draw and experiment, and helps to explore your creativity, basically. It's awesome; I actually plan on giving it a re-read soon, but for now the Loomis books need read as well as the George Bridgman books I have. Although I found another book exceedingly awesome, called Making Comics by Scott McCloud. I've actually been toting that book with me everywhere. x3
JazzW - Thanks so much for the website and such! And I will be sure to stop by your sketchbook ASAP. :3
Max Challie - DX I didn't have time or room for the wasp! I'm sorry!
March 29th, 2009, 11:55 PM
Alright, I've just got a commission (kind of, I'm not getting paid but I'm getting publicity for it), and I'm having trouble deciding what to do with it. He gave me a lot of creative license with it, but there's a certain picture he wants.
He wants me to do this, but he's giving me free reign on what the color scheme is, what style it is, ect, ect. Unfortunately I have no clue what to do!
His only requirements for the picture is that he asked first of all that the foliage in the background look blurry and stuff to give lots of depth to the picture, and he wants it to look 'zen'. So I quickly threw down some color to try and show what the picture is (it's a river wrapping around the dude's head and going into his ear and then out his mouth), but I'm not sure how to render the water without it looking cartoon-y, because I'd like to try and do it realistically...but maybe that won't look good with the subject matter? And what about the color scheme? I have no clue wher to go with it. I assume that I should use cooler colors to make it peaceful...but then how do I make it eye-catching? Arg, I'm so confused, and any help would be appreciated! DX