Ok, I hope I submitted this right!
SVS Third Thursday: Inktober
Ok, I hope I submitted this right!
SVS Third Thursday: Inktober
Wow, everyone's doing such beautiful work! I'm learning a lot just seeing this great art. I didn't really have much internet access last week, so I'm joining this thread a bit late.
I've done Inktober each day, but here's the ones I'm able to share here: (PS I love feedback - trying to improve!)
After Inktober, I've decided to do a small personal project with the bonus goal that I would hang these in a local coffee shop. It's less important for me to sell them than it is to simply finish the project.
Anyway, I was hoping for some feedback from fellow artists! I really really like constructive criticism, so please tell me what you think doesn't work / looks bad / I need to fix.
Goal: make 5-10 pieces for Animals Drinking Coffee set by end of the month. Frame originals (about 5"x8" ink and watercolor) and present to local coffee shops, scans can be used for prints/greeting cards.
The idea: Grown-up version of nursery art. The animals are are supposed to have a cute, plush feel to them, but they're engaged in the "grown-up" activity of drinking coffee. (Or tea / hot chocolate / whatever haha)
Currently, I'm fiddling with the design.
Example of a final (quickly colored in photoshop w/ no skill in digital painting, lol)
For instance, lion could have arms up, or down...
I'd like to add winter clothing, since it would allow me to add a bit more color and interest, but I think that might "limit" them to a season, (so no one will want them) any thoughts?
Examples of winter gear vs none: (I know it's hard to see the difference without color)
Some other designs I'm fiddling with...
vvv I'm going to re-do these three for sure, but I'm posing them just for the heck of it, haha
Sorry if the images are really big! I tried to keep them small.
Well, this was a long post (sorry) but any feedback / suggestions are greatly appreciated! I'll post updates here and probably on twitter as I go along.
I would love to learn how to cleanly edit traditional art on the computer -- I want to learn a bridge between traditional and digital art.
Nothing fancy, but a great example is what I've seen on the 3rd Thursday critiques: the paint-overs that Will Terry and Lee White did last week were excellent, and Lee White gave some pointers on how he does it, but I'd really love for a full class on it (not a huge class, maybe five sessions). Another example is what Jake Parker did with his promo Rocket Raccoon sketch, turning it from something spanning two pages in a little drawing book to making it an awesome poster -- that is what I want to learn.
The class could also touch on scanners (kinds, settings, etc.) and printers. (So, going from traditional to digital, and from digital to physical.)
I paint with watercolors, and it just isn't practical to risk messing up when it's 80% done and I have to start all over. I know digital isn't magic, but I have not seen a class like this offered, just tutorials on how to fix the contrast/levels etc.
Here are my first attempts at digital painting/coloring. I have a lot to learn, any tips/feedback is greatly appreciated!
I'm especially trying out the "cell shading" look. Am I close?
Llama cell shading
Second llama attempt, variation on above (more "painterly" style)
Dino cell shading shadow practice (NOTE: drawing is not mine, I just did the coloring. Image source)
Do the shadows make sense? Should they be stronger/darker?
And my first attempt at a digital painting haha
Thank you, I really appreciate your feedback!
Oh, here's the first completely digital piece I've done. (Ignore the background! Haha)
I'm used to a pretty different coloring style, specifically traditional watercolors, and not a lot of strong, sharp shadows. I've been watching a lot of tutorials and working from references, but I just wanted to make sure I'm headed in the right direction!
Wow, lots of beautiful art here! These forums are great, everyone here has something to offer - I look forward to learning a lot here with you all!
Here's my submission for July's 3rd Thursday. I hope it's submitted correctly, I had to fiddle with the size a bit.
twitter (that I got just tonight): @careybowdenart
I don't have an Instagram. (yet!)
I love her design! Can't wait to see more from you!
My critique: To me, it's a little hard to tell she's the toothfairy, I found the tooth on her dress at my second pass. If you want that subtlety, keep it! Otherwise, maybe add a few more 'hints" (for instance, how big is she? Could she be holding some coins that are plate-sized? Or her tooth bag could be a bit larger?)
Really nice work, keep it up!
I have been struggling with this SO MUCH lately! Thank you for this thread!
I think most of my personal discouragement comes from impatience - I want to get better faster, and when I don't have a day where I can spend hours and hours on my art, I think I'll never "get there." (Wherever "there" is - art is a lifelong craft)
And when I do have several hours for art, at the end of it, I still think, "gah it's not good enough!"
I agree with @leontine: failing is part of it. There are many examples of historical people we look at as great successful geniuses, but we don't see the enormous piles of crumpled papers and failed ideas that were also a part of their lives, and part of their success.
I just read a book about the beginnings of Disney - it was really inspiring. (He wasn't perfect, haha, but Walt can certainly teach us about persistence and vision) he went bankrupt, lost his top animator/friend to another studio, worked for almost no pay, sold the rights of one of his first characters (almost a precursor to Mickey) studio was in a garage, etc. He took a lot of risks, and some of the studio's early stuff is rather... strange. But, whatever your opinion of the company, you can't argue that they started small, almost failed, and are now a global industry.
I just have to keep reminding myself: "Where I am now is not where I'll end up" and keep drawing.
Keep it up!
This is a great question! Certainly something I wrestle with myself.
I learned that 99% of days, if I don't do Art Time first, I tend to not do it. It's very easy for me to get sucked into cleaning, paperwork, chores, the stuff of life... those things are endless. I try to do art for at least an hour before I move on to check off a Life Thing or two.
As for what Art Time consists of... well, I'll just tell you what I do, and you can take it or leave it.
I usually start with watching some of my current SVS lesson, which is often inspiring and gives me all sorts of good ideas/challenges. (Usually while I have a coffee or eat. Multitasking, lol)
Then, if I haven't already started doodling during the lesson (hehe) I'll start with what I call "drawing drills." I use Pintrest to save art that I like, and then I draw from those for a while. The specific thing I draw varies, but it's very good practice to try to match what you see. I suggest starting with what you like, then adding in things that look challenging. I can't tell you how great it feels to face an image and think "no way I can do that" but then an hour or so later you've been able to copy it. If I start with drawing either from photographic reference, or from my mind, that's when I tend to just do what I usually do, and I don't feel like I'm improving.
Then, I move on to my current project. Sometimes this is a piece I've been asked to do, or other times it's an online challenge/event. Last month it was Inktober, I also like to do Animal Alphabets, and this month I have a small personal project before a bigger project begins in Dec/Jan.
While I work, I like to listen to videos/podcasts like Will Terry or Jake Parker's YouTube videos, since they usually don't need to be watched, just listened to. And music or a book on tape.
I've just been able to get back into my art, and this is the routine I have right now.
The main thing, I think, is to continue working, even if you're not sure what you're doing, or you feel "blocked". Don't be afraid to try a new technique, or make mistakes. I tend to be a perfectionist, so I have to tell myself that I'm filling me sketchbook with only terrible drawings (to get them out of my system haha).
I found twitter to be a great motivator, and the SVS forums are also a great place to post art and ask for feedback. When I worked with other artists, I loved having my co-workers around to ask for critiques.
I also suggest watching Jake Parker's video on YouTube called "You Need a Project, Not a Product" (I think I got that right). He explains what a personal project is, gives ideas, and lays out why having a project is an excellent way to improve.
Hope this helps! I'm very interested in what other people have to say, too.
Just wanted to update here that I'm still working on this! And thanks again for feedback!
My goal is to make 5-10 finished small illustrations that look like nursery art + coffee. I was aiming to finish by the end of November, but I think I'll give myself an extension with all that's going on.
Here's a sketch of a more "action shot" as recommended:
Color practice for the fox. It looks really bright on my computer (I tried to adjust the scan) but the original is a bit less saturated. I need to change the shape of the scarf, and I will be taking the boots OUT for the final version.
And a really quick sketch
Gotta fix that left foot!
Ok, that's the update!
On the wisdom of @Rich-Green, I have taken on the color test again. I suppose I could have jumped straight to paints, but I do better when I plan it out. I am learning so much from this, thank you to everyone who has been so helpful and supportive!
(I would have had this ready yesterday, but my computer kept crashing when I used my tablet, so this is with a mouse, haha)
Can I have Charly be so purple and the bears be so yellow? I shrunk it down to see if it worked, but I think I've been looking at it too long lately.
This is a great topic!
One of the things that motivates me to become more disciplined is accountability. It has helped me a lot to use my blog audience (real or imagined, haha) as people who hold me accountable.
I recently read a story about a man who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. He took a picture at each mile marker, to hold himself accountable to finish. And, as he pointed out, it would be obvious if he skipped any.
When I heard Jake Parker say you have to draw enough to fill out a sketchbook a month, I knew I was doing the art thing wrong. He motivated me, but I lacked the discipline to follow through on my own. So I put myself through a drawing "boot camp" where I had to draw for an hour every day for four weeks and post the results on my blog. As a result, I became more disciplined, even on days my motivation waned (Fridays especially, I was more motivated to go to bed than draw for an hour, haha)
I think of motivation as more specific, and goal-oriented, while discipline is broad and applies to action rather than ends.
Motivation = to improve as an artist. (goal)
Discipline = work every day work every day work every day (action)
A word I like a lot is determined.
Thank you, everyone for your comments!
@Lynn-Larson and @Thrace-Shirley-Mears - Really? You bring up good points. It would be pretty freeing to have Charly more subtle... hmm....
Well, here's what I did this evening:
I don't think Charly looks quite right, but I'll keep messing with it. (And his value needs to be changed. Now that I see it on the screen, I think I need to punch up his contrast...)
Here are the sketches I have for September's prompt: "As Charly walked deeper into the forest he heard singing and dancing. He peeked out from behind a huge tree and saw..."
I usually mess around with the what for way too long. This time, I want to focus on the execution of the piece.
This is the first thing that came to my mind. (Ok, aliens was first. But I didn't want to do aliens. But I wasn't too sold on bears, so I asked my husband what I should have Charly see and he said, "Bears. Dancing bears." And who says husbands can't read minds?)
Anyway, I think "things around a fire" came to a lot of people's minds, which makes sense with this prompt. (Just like there were a lot of "things under water" for May, and a lot of "space things" for Astrid) I'm just focused on making an illustration that works, and that I can put in my portfolio. A part of me wants to do "something different" but I just don't have time to wrack my brain for this one. Plus, if someone is looking at my portfolio, they're not going to know I did one of 12 "things around a fire" images.
I had a really hard time with the angle. Even though I marched through the woods acting this scene out (really) I could not think of more than two angles that would clearly show both Charly and whatever it is he sees behind the huge tree.
The top small one is the angle from above/behind. I like Charly being closer, but his face will be partially turned away, looking around the tree.
I like the larger one because Charly's face can show completely, but he's further away. The line is where I'm toying with cropping it, like this:
I don't want the fire to be too bright, distracting from Charly.
Any comments/critiques are welcome! This stage is focused on the composition, layout, idea... basic stuff. There are details I will add in the next stage (for instance, the bears will have actual paws, not stumps...)
But who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll wake up and decide it must be aliens. (Dancing aliens)
@Naroth-Cow Thank you! I'll try that crop and see how it looks. I suppose I am a bit nervous about making the shadows "work" in that one. I gave him a backpack to add to his story, since he's the focal character - an option I also like.
@Christina-Taylor-Brown Thanks so much! But I think you should go for your original idea! We're not going to end up with the same thing, even if the prompt were more specific. I've seen a lot of similarities in other 3rd Thursdays, but even similar pieces are totally different works of art.
(I think I managed to reply to everyone... Thanks so much for the feedback!)
@Naroth-Cow and @Leontine-Gaasenbeek - Thank you for your feedback! Here's the cropped and enlarged one. Charly's pretty blurry, but you get the idea.
(Oo, kinda scary. I'll re-draw this one, haha)
@Thrace-Shirley-Mears Thanks for the reminder, haha!
@quickdrawkevin Yes, I have to keep that in mind. I think either composition, his face needs to be well-lit.
@Peter-Jarvis Thank you. I'm leaning toward that one, too. I think it matches the words better, though I'm fond of the second. I'll develop it a bit and see how it works.
@Sarah-LuAnn Yes! I would love to see yours! Like I said, this prompt really offers some strong themes. (Like "things around a campfire") Go for it!
@Lynn-Larson Thank you! My struggle with that second one is that the bears are more interesting than Charly...
@AndrewCothill Thank you very much! The color stage is hard for me, but I'll do my best!
@Melopi Thank you so much! I do like the second one, but with this prompt, I think I'm going to develop the first one a bit more, and just see what happens. I'm worried the bears in the second one are more interesting than Charly. But either way, I'm going to make sure his face is visible!
In terms of the usefulness of computers - I'm moving towards a workflow of:
- Doing my concept sketches and color tests digitally
- Then printing the finished drawing on watercolor paper
- and finally, painting and inking
YES! I've been looking into this, too! I just don't know which printer to get - I know it has to have pigment-based ink to be waterproof, and have a straight-feed to handle heavy paper. I would also want to get one that is wide-format. The issue I'm running into, though, is that if I invest in a nice printer, it should also be able to make prints... and so I keep researching and researching because they are so expensive! This fantastic artist always prints her line work, which does save a lot of time.
Back on topic, though: I love your illustration(s)! What size paper do you use? You have so many great details that show up really nicely. I have a hard time getting detailed on cold-press sometimes.