Are There Shortcuts To Making Great Art?



  • Great episode gents!

    I’m learning so much and stretching my skills ever so slightly forward with each monthly contest piece.

    Thank you for the advice on improving storytelling, composition and methods for bringing emotion out.

    Good stuff!



  • Thank you so much for the episode. I have a question regarding @Lee-White´s advice on eight major shapes. I think I understand what he is talking about, but I really want to see some more examples on that.


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @xin-li sure, I'll draw something up and post it


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    ok, here's two examples. The shape breakdown is basically a way to control composition and see what groups together. Note: you can have as much detail as you want, as long as it groups to that shape. So typically each area is marked off as a basic 'group' of items. Like a group of trees that go together or a group of characters that are all in the same value range. The sky and ground need to be considered as their own shape too unless they blend into something, etc. So in my examples below, if you were to squint and blur your vision a little bit, this is how the shapes would group together. For example, This idea helps me know how bright to go on the sunlight hitting the houses. If that value were too bright, it would start to break up that shape. So I keep the contrast low there and it holds together as a mass.

    This concept is at the basis of Will Terry's "draw 50 things". Even though you have a lot of stuff in there, it needs to group well to control the image. Hope that makes sense! : ) Early-start breakdown.jpg Winter-walk breakdown.jpg


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    I think of the image like a kid's jigsaw puzzle that only gets up to 8 big pieces. It's not perfect, but it gives a good guide for designing things.



  • After every single episode, weeks upon weeks (2 years?), this one compelled me to stop being a lurker on the forum. I curious where I find the Monthly Prompts and Critique-o-rama?

    Thanks for all the work you guys do! I'm excited to be on the SVS Forum.



  • @Lee-White Thank you so much for taking the time to post this! Is there a specific reason that it is 8 shapes max? (Other than just.. 9 is a lot haha). Is there a recommended minimum?



  • @Nico-Ecenarro There is usually a post every month in the forums here with the prompt where you can post your entry, and then they send out a link for you to watch it live. I think it's also in the newsletter if you sign up for that? Or at least in the posts for news and upcoming notices at the bottom of the homepage for svslearn.

    Also, welcome!



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  • @Nico-Ecenarro I've searched for them before, but they're tricky to find for some reason. After listening to this podcast I tracked them down again. They're in Courses, under Critique, and then click the down arrow next to 'Critique Arena' for past Critiques. 🙂
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  • @Lee-White My takeaway from your advice is to simplify the image by organizing and grouping value. I love your approach to thinking about it as a jigsaw puzzle. Thank you so much for providing additional examples.



  • @Cayleen and @carlianne thanks for the info!



  • @Lee-White thank you!! This is so much valuable! This solves my issue of "floating items" in my illustrations and with only 3 values, it is already so much better!!


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