So, for what it's worth, here is the final painting.
@smceccarelli You can send the box to me! Just kidding. I actually am using digital pastels in my digital painting and had thought about using them but had read that using them in a sketchbook was difficult because of their fragility. How did you prevent smearing, etc. when you were using them in a sketchbook?
This may be a strange question but do you find that a particular medium works better for developing your eye with regards to color? I only have limited time and opportunity to sketch and though I love looking at people's watercolor sketches, I'm not adept at watercolors (having only done them some years ago.) I mostly do pencil sketching and digital work for the color. I thought colored pencils would be easier to carry and would allow me to grab small moments when I'm out to sketch but my fear is that pencils wouldn't force me to think in terms of blocks of color and value as well as watercolor or any brush sort of sketching does. Any experiences that you can share that might help me figure out how to make the most of my limited time?
@diego_biosteam I'm old enough that when I was a kid the only role playing games you could play were with pen and paper. It was in an age before computers when dinosaurs roamed the land. Unfortunately, it was also an age when only the boys played those games so no, I never did play them.
I've really enjoyed reading all of these suggestions. Thanks. As I've read people's comments, I realized that most of my sketch books are filled with sketches of faces, people, animals, and objects but only rarely do I do sketches of landscapes or complete rooms. That's partially a symptom of never having enough time to sketch -- it's faster to draw a person in a coffee house than the entire coffee house! -- but I'm going to try to be more deliberate about compiling landscape/setting sketches.
I'm struggling with trying to figure out the proper placement of the horizon line in a picture I am doing for a story. In the previous scene, a donkey carried her rider through a break in a stone wall into a vineyard. Now the donkey is climbing a rocky slope and as she crests the rocks, a flock of partridges flies in her rider's face. I want the camera angle low so that the partridges and rider have the sky behind them but, for the flow of the story, I would also like to be able to see the stone wall and vineyard in the background. They don't have to be super visible, but at least there somewhere to help the transition. Short of building this whole scene out of blocks, is there a way to figure out how much field of view a camera would include and where to place the horizon line? Here is a very simple sketch from the side of what I am trying to do (leaving out the partridges).
And here is what I have come up with so far for a rough sketch.
I also realize that the rider should be sitting farther back on the donkey but then you can't see him very well so I decided for the purpose of the story, I'd ignore proper riding stance.
Any help would be appreciated. Just doing this all for fun but I'd still like to do it right :)
I think the suggestion of looking at movie stills is a good one because I’m looking for ways to broaden and deepen the world of an illustration which really means thinking about what might lie beyond the four edges of the picture’s frame. In fact, just thinking of an illustration as a set might help me because lots of stuff on a set is often cropped out of the final shots but the very fact that if is there makes the scene more believable. Obviously not every illustration needs to be that complex but I’m trying to increase my repertoire to include more complexity. (And I should probably watch Will Terry’s Draw 50 Things too.)
I can’t give a fair comparison since I only have the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil but I love using the iPad because of its portability. I sometimes sketch and scan to it but more and more I am doing everything from the very beginning on the iPad and only sketching on paper if I get really stuck (because I can stand up at my drawing board and get freer gestures.). I don’t do much photoshop type manipulation using just the multiply, and overlay features so software would be a consideration. On the other hand, I can and do take my iPad Pro everywhere and can draw/paint in coffee shops, waiting for friends, watching TV, when I’m supposed to be working ... :)
Ever since I posted this, I've been trying to decide exactly what it is I'm asking :) I think what I'm asking is whether there are exercises to help develop your imagination, just like drawing circles helps develop your hand coordination, drawing boxes helps develop your perspective etc. For example, when I watched the Harry Potter movies I thought, "Wow, the world they have created -- the rooms, the landscape, the background scenery -- is so much bigger and complex than the world I imagined as I read the books."
How do you go about fleshing out and populating the imaginary world you are creating so that it has real depth and complexity? (And certainly not all stories require that depth but I'd like to try to stretch my imagination farther.)
As I look at professional illustrations, the illustrations of the SVS instructors, and many of the works by people posting here, I am so impressed with their imagination: the complexity of their scenes, the unique camera angles, color, and lighting, and the imaginative characters. I know you can learn the technical aspects of illustration but how can you strengthen your ability to envision complex and imaginative scenes? I know one thing people say is that you should study the illustrations of people you like but I feel like I could look at them forever and still not come up with that stuff on my own.
I really like this Eric and your changes make it read so much better. In the early paintings, I had to look for the rabbits that people were talking about but now with the lighting and the tracks, the one rabbit stands out as the focal point and your design leads my eye to look for the other rabbits which makes it so fun. It's really nice.
And on the subject of frustration, probably the most freeing thing I heard from the SVS teachers is their comments that they go through really ugly stages in their process when they start to say to themselves, "I can't draw." If even they go through that, it makes me think that it just comes with the territory and I've gotten better at telling my brain to shut up and let me persist. I also play classical mandolin and read of a famous violin teacher who said, "There's no such thing as a difficult piece. There are only time consuming pieces." I'm only an amateur but learning to ignore my frustration and accept that some paintings will just take me longer (sometimes A LOT longer) to figure out has really helped me improve.
I normally do character driven cartoony style illustrations so this was a bit of a departure for me. I went to Colonial Williamsburg at the beginning of November and tried to capture some of the atmosphere, architecture, and palette from there. (I posted my process on another thread.) Done on an iPad Pro with digital pastels in Procreate.
Trying again: I have resized the pictures and we'll see if it works this time.
I went to Colonial Williamsburg at the beginning of November so decided to try doing something set in that time period. I usually do more cartoony stuff so this is a new style for me. I'm doing pastels on my iPad Pro with Procreate and trying to employ a lot of the process I've learned from the SVS videos.
First, I took a ton of pictures while I was there for reference photos and also used a book on Colonial Williamsburg houses as reference. Here's a sample of one of the pictures I used:
I did a number of sketches choosing the style of houses I wanted to include and deciding on perspective. Here's one of the sketches.
I did some value studies and as a result moved the characters.
I cleaned up the sketch and added a church at the end of the road to balance the drawing
I put the drawing on a gray layer, created a limited palette using colonial colors and did some color tests based on the value sketch. (The gray is under the part that will be the final cropped painting.)
I changed some of the characters colors to help with the focal point and did the final painting and detail work. Here's my end result.
I still have three days before the end of November. Any suggestions?
I had the same problem and had the same "marker" in my post -- ![0_......jpg)(uploading 100%). I tried dragging the picture into the forum response box and it said it was uploading, but couldn't get it to load. I didn't understand how to use the icon for image because it asks for an image url but the photo is on my hard drive. Cory, if you figure out, let me know or If anyone can tell us what we are doing wrong, I'd love some help.
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