Cool guys, so happy to see all your wonderful work!
Hey, I just finished up an illustration and added some dragonflies in honor of you guys and this contest! Thought I'd share it here.
You may or may not have heard about this, but I wanted to put it out there first so rumors and accusations don't start flying everywhere. An artist named Alphonso Dunn has accused Jake's inktober book of plagiarism.
I love Alphonso's work and respect him as a teacher and agree that there are some similarities to the work. In fact, every single book on inking has some similarities. Even dating back to the "Rendering in Pen and Ink" book by Arthur Guptill published back in the 1891.
Things like line, form, shading, texture, and value don't change much from teacher to teacher. Jake puts each of those in his own words in his book. Alphonso puts his spin on it in his book. And of course I put my own spin on those things in my classes as well.
For example, In this image Alphonso compares his image on the right, with jakes on the left. Both of them talk about line, form, value, detail and shading.
If an art teacher can't use the basic terms to present techniques, we are all in trouble. You can't own basic tools and techniques and so I disagree with Alphonso's assertions.
Now the internet is running with this and of course it is nasty. But I ask you that you really look at what is being said before making a judgement. As always, I will be here to answer your questions anytime. : )
Hey guys, on the podcast we recorded two days ago jake challeneged me to paint Batman! Being the overly competitive person I am, I took him up on it. Super fun to try and figure out how I might approach this subject matter in a way that interested me. So I used a somewhat textural and abstract approach to it. I don't think I'll be doing any more fan art for now, but very fun to step outside your comfort zone and what you are familiar with. Both in terms of technique and subject matter. : )
Some changes coming next month in regards to our monthly contest. We are getting a little more serious about them and will be doing things a bit differently. Read below to see!
Contests will be judged by the 3rd day of the month.
Contest results will be posted in the forum, but the crit will be an actual video where I can talk about the different pieces and do draw overs, etc. It will be more more involved as a learning tool for you guys!
The video crits will only be available to active subscribers. We are looking at many new features that reward our subscriber base and this is just one of them.
Only subscribers will be eligible for being judged in the contests. Anyone can post to the finals thread, but only subscribers can win and be in the video.
This will all start with the May contest. The book covers contest and "before the moment" will be judged in a post as usual. : )
Let me know if you have any questions.
hey guys, We are really wanting to up our game here at SVS and one of the things we are starting now is CASH AND ILLUSTRATION JOBS for the winners of the monthly contest! We are going to start THIS MONTH! Here's the deal:
Top 2 finishers will each receive a $75 cash prize
Top 2 finishers will be offered the opportunity to ILLUSTRATE THE GRAPHIC FOR OUR THREE POINT PERSPECTIVE PODCAST!
Considering that our podcast has over a half million downloads, your work will be seen by a LOT of people.
You have to be a subscriber to SVSlearn.com to place in the contest. (Anyone can post to the contest forum, but only members can win). Post your winning entries here: https://forum.svslearn.com/topic/7435/may-contest-mermay/25
Hey guys, I finally set up my youtube channel and will be making new content every other week. My first one is about how to do an illustration that you like every time! Just follow my step by step process! Download is included in the youtube description. : )
Please go and subscribe so I can catch will and Jake. Only need a few hundred thousand new people! haha!
Hi guys, sorry we are running a little behind on the topic this month. Luckily it's a leap year so you get an extra day on it! : )
The topic for this month is: Nightfall
Night (and darkness in general) can mean many things to people. Some people love night and all that goes with it. For others it means hiding out and hoping the bad things don't get you! Let's see what it means for each of you!
More rules will be added here, I just wanted to go ahead and get this thing going!
Hey everyone, sorry for the delay. I've been neck deep in a really tricky new book project and am just now coming up for some air! Whew!
And what a breath of fresh air it is! Your work for the contest is lovely and I spent a lot of time pouring over the images. This topic is a tricky one. It's hard not to be too cliche' with the subject matter because we have been saturated with overly sentimental images for years and years. I think you guys did a good job of putting a new spin on a very well traveled topic.
I noticed a lot of new entries and I want to really encourage all of you new faces here. You are doing great! We had over 80 entries this month so I really had to sit with the images for a bit to see how they held up over to multiple viewings. I think I've managed to narrow it down to our winners and honorable mentions.
in terms of what didn't make it, here's how it broke down:
Concept being overly sentimental images or cliche': Even though many of them were sweet, just painting two people/characters interacting didn't have enough originality to win.. (still nice images though!). Need to have some kind of new twist on that to do well here.
Technique: I saw a lot of good ideas where the execution wasn't quite there yet. Keep at it, this part is the easiest to fix.
Now on to the Winners:
1st Place: PETE OLCZYK @peteolczyk
Gorgeous painting here in our top spot. Great concept and absolute control in color and light. The beauty here is there is actually a LOT of detail in this, but it's all controlled so well it looks simple and sweet. Great job Pete.
2nd Place: ERIN CORTESE @inkandspatter
I love Erin's concept here. It's so funny and spot on. This is a nice way to take a cliche' idea (like giving flowers to a valentine) and to spin in and make it new. The cool blue palette is a nice choice here. Keep it up Erin!
3rd Place: EVA ELLER @Eva-Eller
Eva's piece this month is SO COOL and very unexpected. I love the editorial take on the subject and we can read so many stories into what is taking place here. Nice use of silhouette and scale. This is how it's done folks!
Runners up (in no particular order): Note: I thought I might offer some light suggestions here if that is ok. These suggestions are not guaranteed to make it better, but it's a place I would start if I was working with these artists in a classroom setting.
NIKI STAGE Really sweet image that is expertly done. If I had to offer some advice here, I might like to see this palette and value keyed to a blue to simulate a night scene.
JOHANNA KIM @Johanna-Kim : Johanna has been in a contender in almost every contest and this one is no exception. Really great. Especially if this is traditional watercolor (it looks like it is). The only crit I'd have here is the glass between the characters isn't reading at all and sort of needs to be read a little quicker. There is a number of ways to pull this off (try in photoshop first to make sure it looks good, then add to final piece).
JESS ERSKINE: @CrunchyBunny Nice looking nigh scene here by Jess. this light and color are gorgeous. Everything seems to be working really well here so it's hard to think of anything I'd add here. The way to make this scene have more interest could be to play with what is happening with the characters. Right now they are saying hi, which is sweet, but we probably need to add some kind of tension there to add interest. This could be making the main character seem like he is struggling to get home. Or he is cold, etc. But that is getting nit picky. This is a great image.
NADYA BONTEN @nadyart
Pretty and sad image by Nadya and I really love all the stylizations going on here. Nice take on the topic too. Only thing I would suggest is possibly some different composition studies. Right now our main character is too centered and I think it could be very interesting to move it off center. Note: square formats are VERY tricky because it wants to make you put things in the center...
LI XIN @xin-li
This is really a sweet piece that adds a nice twist to the Love theme. I love the color balance and characters here. My suggestions would be to think about detail hierarchy. What that basically means is figuring out what the image is about and emphasize that and dial the other detail back. Right now we have the star constellation (which is the real focal point), and then we have the shooting stars which distract from our focal point. And then there are the lightning bugs too. So basically if we calm that other stuff down, the intent of the image will come out a bit more.
BRADEN JALLETT @Braden-Hallett
This is a fantastic concept and pulled off quite nicely. The mark making and design are pro level for sure. My only suggestion is similar to what I said in the previous piece. We need to control where the eye goes a little more and that can be done with value and contrast control (Will Terry is a pro at this). If you squint, you will see that the fridge is one of the first thins we look at due to it's light value. I think if the rest of the scene was toned down some with a soft glaze over everything except our focal point, it might resonate a little more. Still, you did an amazing job Braden.
ASH WEAVER @Ash-Weaver
Really cool retro styled image here. I really love the design of this piece and the attention to detail. The storytelling is great and builds nicely as you roam around the image. It's hard to offer suggestions here because it's so well done, but I might want to see some other sketches to try to get more attitude on the character. Something as simple as tilting her head up can do wonders for giving a character a bit more personality.
ALEXANDRIA FARRAR @avfarrar
This is some stunning character design here. Great control of value and hue as well. The concept is great and I really love it. The only snag for me here was the tall character in between our two love birds. She looks out of place in the image and her expression isn't as well crafted as everyone else. I think just lowering here down in the composition and working on her mouth area would solve the problems there. Amazing job though. That's a lot of characters! : )
Before we go, I wanted to offer a moment of silence for a loss we had in our SVS family. Rich Cartwright passed away last month and it hit us all really hard. Rich was a constant presence on the forum and a great guy. He will be missed. I really loved this image Rich did for one of our contests:
Okay everyone, that's gonna do it for now. Keep up all your hard work. It's paying off and the work keeps getting better and better. If you are struggling, just try to get a little better each day and it's amazing what you can accomplish. I can't wait to see your book covers next month!
I would recommend that you DECLINE this offer ASAP. It is so incredibly low that it doesn't even make sense. The absolute lowest rate would be around $7500 (even that is pushing it) so that shows you how far they are off on their price. If they are a well known publisher AND this is a trade book, this offer doesn't make much sense so I feel like something might be off here. If it's just for the cover, then it starts to make more sense. But doing a whole picture book for $1500, no way.
One other thing, unless you are amazingly fast or have a VERY simple style, a one month turnaround doesn't make much sense either. You need to do all research and character studies with thumbnails, then produce a full sketch dummy, followed by a round of revisions, and then move on to final art. A picture book typically takes anywhere from 3-4 months to a year or more. So be considerate of all these things, not just how long a finished image takes.
@sigross Love the sentiment here! But that Rubens drawing would fall under fair use due to it's age. The copyright would have run out long ago. Now, depending on where this image was published, that company may have new rights to it. Gets tricky there. @davidhohn what do you think?
Thanks Julia! I really like this topic and thought it would be a fun one to chat about. Curious to hear what you guys think. I know it's probably not as exciting as some topics, but maybe it is more important as you get into the field and start to sign more contracts. Maybe it can save you some money! : )
This is a really good question and one that I can address more about next week. But in short, color and saturation will start to come into play once things start to move towards a finished stage.
The concepts from my class help you get broad values established and get the work moving in the right direction. But once you are going to take something to color, the values can actually come together more than they would if they were staying in black and white. For example, if you have a big circle in the middle of a square as your composition and you are working in black and white, the circle needs to be lighter or darker than the background. But if the image is going to be in color and the circle is bright red and the background a muted green, they can easily be the same value because color and saturation are doing all the work.
The best case scenario is when value AND color/saturation are doing work to keep things separate (but harmonious) in the image. Also, There will always be images that work and DON'T fit into the scope of what I'm teaching in the class. And that is where the 'art' of all this comes into play. I'm giving broad outlines that work MOST of the time. Now your job is to test those boundaries and see what works for you.
Hope that helps some. : )
plan ahead, sketch ahead, get materials all ready. Practice the techniques you will be using. Then plan your days around easy/fast images and hard/time consuming images. If every image is a chore, you won't finish. If every image is a quick easy one, you wont be satisfied. Strive for balance.
@dafoota I do talk about that a little bit right at the end. It's a tricky question. I think after you have taken some of the steps we mention to get out of burnout and if you still feel a reluctance to do the work, you might be in the wrong direction. So then do you change the work to fit the direction you want work in? Or do you change what your goals are that fit the work? I'd say the latter will leave you more satisfied. Figure out what kind of work you want to do, then head in that direction.
Drawing in Pen & Ink by Claudia Nice. Here's a link:
@pixel-dsp I guess it really depends on what the content is and how it was approached. But let's go over them:
Terms: In this case, the actual content is very basic common terms and shapes that all teachers use. They are so basic and common that there is literally no other name for them or way to phrase it differently. To talk about Line, form, shadow, detail, etc. is common to all drawing. If I did a drawing class, I would use the same terms (and have used the same terms). You just can't have a drawing or painting class without using those exact terms. They are the building blocks of art.
Sequence: Just like the "Terms" category, this falls under a very common and logical sequence. It's so common that to do it in another way actually doesn't work. The sequence starts with the most basic thing- a line, then adds some volume to become a form, once that form is made, it is then lit with local color, light and shadow, and finally detail is added (feathers, wood grain,etc.). Again, this is common to almost all teaching of basic art.
Now, It would be much different if someone was talking about something that DIDN"T have a common terminology or structure. For example, if you were to write about a boy wizard and named him Harry. And he was to go to a school, called "Hogwarts". Those terms are NOT common and are VERY specific to a single person's story. So you would be much more guilty of plagiarism if you did that vs. doing a book about something common, such as 2 point perspective.
The other charge is LAYOUT. Jake's layout's don't really look like AD's, but lets suppose they did. How COMMON are those layouts and is there something inherently unique that was copied? The answer is no. It's just some drawings with some text around them using common terminology. For examle, here's AD's layout and one from another pen and ink book. I could VERY EASILY say AD's was stolen from this one. In fact, I bet if I told you these came from the SAME book many of you would believe it. But it's two separate artists and two totally separate books. And if I said it with emotion, many people would believe it. But that isn't the case. AD did NOT copy this at all. It's just normal to layout sketches and text this way. In other words it's EXTREMELY COMMON to do it this way. Which makes the plagiarism charge sort of ridiculous.