Dream Portfolio Assignment, Too

  • Moderator

    @Coreyartus Ugh, I can relate. I find character drawing very difficult. The smallest deviation when drawing heads and faces changes the entire character so dramatically. I find it very helpful to go back to basic shapes and then slowly add detail based small measurements within the shape. For me when I looked at her head I immediately saw a teardrop. If you can get the main shape right, it should be a little easier.


  • Moderator

    Well, I'm hoping I got her face correct... I also started putting in some color. I'm realizing the Johnstone's were really quite excellent at layering. Oof. The crispness of the edges is sometimes because of a contrast in values and sometimes because there's a fine line of a darker color underneath or around the edges of a lighter color. And it varies, because gouache is opaque. So they could both layer lights on darks and then go back in and put darks over lights. Or vice versa. LOL!

    It's making things interesting... hehe...


  • Moderator

    @Coreyartus Wow, this is looking great! The rendering looks incredibly difficult and time consuming, but it sounds like you have already learned quite a bit, which is amazing.

  • Moderator

    And the Beast is done. Whew! It's not perfect, but I've realized that my original blocking-in of shapes and lines was a bit off... I was able to correct it a bit by pushing things around with the Liquefy tool in Procreate, but I'm not sure ultimately whether that really discounts everything else I've learned. I'm really really liking this way of digital painting.

    My admiration for the Johnstone Sisters has increased exponentially--they either worked incredibly carefully by meticulously placing each stroke, or they just had an innate sense of what went where. I wonder how they worked with Art Directors... I would imagine fixing some things would be possible since it was gouache and one can easily cover things up and re-do things, but there's so much detail to repaint I'm sure they had to be very clear about their understanding of what they were painting from the very get-go.

    One thing I am noticing is that they made choices about where to put shading and highlights in this image. There is no real sense of where the source of light actually is. It's very flat in a lot of ways. Not all their work is like this but the vast majority of it is. Hm. If I were to emulate this style, I think I'd prefer to have a clear direction in the lighting that reads instantly. I think that might add a sense of maturity, depth, and drama maybe? Hm.

    Onwards to Beauty!!!


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @Coreyartus It looks amazing so far. I need to do this myself as well.

  • SVS OG

    @Coreyartus woah! Youโ€™re doing so well! The beast looks just like the original. AMAZING!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  • Moderator

    Ok, Beauty has turned out to be much more of a beast to copy than the Beast. Argh!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have learned multiple things when trying to copy Beauty:

    1. I do not know how to do fabric folds. Which is ironic, since I'm a costume designer and I should know. Construct them, yes. Draw them, no. Every time I try to draw drapey clothing, I remember I don't know squat about painting fabric.
    2. I especially don't know how to paint satin.
    3. I especially especially don't know how to paint satin in the style of the Johnstone Sisters.

    I approached this lots of ways--lights first then darks. Darks first then lights. Putting in a mid-range tone then working my way outward putting in lights and darks. No matter what I did, I realized figuring out the correct order was only part of the problem: there were also obvious washes that I couldn't figure out when they went in, as well as the little factor of emulating the hand of the brush strokes themselves...

    The more I looked at it the more I realized the dress's base color was probably the green color of the background, meaning all the highlights and shadows are actually painted on the background... All the lovely rounded forms and pleats and folds are created only with the placements of highlights and shadows, layed over the background color. I don't think there's a separate dress color at all. (!!!!!)

    I felt like the more I stared at it the more I became aware of things and the taller the wall grew I had to climb... Ignorance is bliss, folks. I just can't replicate it. I tried. I tired blocking in shapes but mine is just stilted by comparison. There's a flow, a graceful laying-in of paint that was obviously done by a gentle, flowing, knowing hand. And I just don't got it yet.


    I see now what I need to work on, and that's ultimately what this is all about, right?

    Next I will move on to the framing background of plants, grass, the little rabbit, and the little pink bird. There is a real organic quality to these things that I want to dig into deeper.


  • Moderator

    Whew. I'm done. The background was the hardest part. "Finished, not perfect."

    I learned that Procreate doesn't do watercolor the way I hoped. After almost a week of trying to force it. I ended up settling for a less precise match of everything, and decided the best I could hope for was something that simply wasn't obtrusive or stood out too much (in the context of things).

    I'm so glad this project is over! LOL! This last part was so much harder than anything else because the leaves seemed so much more organic than I could easily observe and translate (for some reason). It seemed the clothing had a logic to it that I could follow, and strongly contrasting areas and lines of color that were easily differentiated and replicated. Not so with the plants. I think I need to work on plants a bit more.

    I know I need to do a Masters Study of something that is very different from this piece, so I can learn different things, but with every class video and every project it seems like my laundry list of things to practice and wrap my head around gets longer and longer and longer. For every step forward it seems like I should first take two steps back before I even contemplate progressing. I don't have a deadline, per se, but I have to admit the mountain of things I don't know continues to grow higher and higher... hehe... Or at least, I'm becoming more aware of what I don't know. And I can't say I'm wise enough to not be frustrated--I think I had hoped things would just be... easier and faster.

    And it seems absolutely nothing has been easy. Nor fast. And I'm learning that I, personally, have to put up defenses and concentrate on one. thing. at. a. time.


    Johnstone Master Study.jpg

  • Moderator

    Well done, you!
    I want to add, now that Iโ€™m awake๐Ÿ˜œ, that I am impressed with you taking on this master study. I have been avoiding the tough images in my master line up but you have inspired me to step up and tackle one. Thankyou for sharing your progress on this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Moderator

    @Coreyartus This looks fantastic, congratulations! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your progress throughout it, it has been really helpful. I was relieved to read your comments this morning, so much of what you said is what I have been feeling for awhile now. I have been very overwhelmed by the process of learning and I feel the list of skills I need to hone just gets longer and longer. I also find myself getting very frustrated, and I am beginning to realize it is more about how I am approaching the content than anything else. After my master study, my plan is to go back to basics and focus on one skill at a time. At the very least, I will be less overwhelmed!

  • SVS OG

    @Coreyartus amazing! It looks just like the original!

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