In the spirit of keeping things manageable, I've gone ahead and added part 3 of the Inktober Thread that will take us through to the end.
(If someone started another one somewhere else, let me know, I didn't see it)
Here's my day 21: Drain
Freelance Designer and Illustrator
The above studies are small, quick thumbnail sketches based on images from films or from digital paintings found online. I tried to use one, hard, flat brush for most of the time on each one, using a base of four values (2 darks and 2 lights). My goal is to rely on shape making rather than rendering to create a believable sense of light and composition.
Only at the very end do I add a few gradients and blends, and I try to keep them to a bare minimum, looking for where I can get the most out of the fewest moves.
As someone who has a tendency to noodle endlessly and get lost in rendering, this exercise is helping me with brush discipline and keeping my shapes distinct and clear.
Wordpress is really overwhelming, I have worked with it professionally as a designer/developer for several years and it's such a pain even if you know your way around it, so I totally understand! The key I think is just finding something that is good enough and working within its boundaries.
There's a good one called Salient on themeforest: https://themeforest.net/item/salient-responsive-multipurpose-theme/4363266. It'll cost you $60. Note: You do NOT need any of the extra support options, just the regular license is good enough.
If you go to that link, you can click on the "Live Preview" button and see a whole bunch of examples that they've set up.
For a real-world example: an illustrator using Salient for her site is Rovina Cai: https://www.rovinacai.com/
I used it for a while for my own site and I really liked it. It would be my theme of choice, but I ultimately decided to use a different option because of a variety of reasons not at all related to my illustration portfolio.
You can also browse around themeforest to see if there's anything else there that catches your eye. Here's a link to themes under the "Wordpress Portfolio Themes" category. There are a lot of themes at a variety of price points. Generally the quality you'll find there is going to be better than just googling or looking in the Wordpress theme browser and you can see ratings, reviews, etc.
Let us know what you ultimately decide on!
Thanks for chiming in everyone! It's been helpful. Everyone seems to agree that it's something like the the "process and intention" that @smceccarelli mentioned. Part of the reason I asked this question is that, I recently spent a TON of time on a single painting and I was really just kind of meh about its outcome. It's alright, but I like a lot of my sketches better... so it led to this question.
@Braden-Hallett Wikipedia! I didn't even think of looking there. Good call
@nadyart I really love that raw quality as well, whether they are sketches or finished pieces, and I guess, it's hard for me to tell sometimes if something that is "raw" is unfinished or not. Maybe the question should be more, something like, refined vs. "sketchy" in a final piece of art, and where does one draw the line (excuse the pun) between something that is supposed to be raw and something that is just not finished?
@neschof I hear what you're saying about people on instagram... I see this amazing painting and they call it a sketch and I'm like, man, I can't do that if I spend a month working on a single piece. Sigh.
@KaraDaniel I really like loose figure drawings as well! I've spent a lot of time painstakingly finishing drawings, and I've learned a lot, but I almost never like the refined, fully rendered pieces as much as faster, looser, more expressive pieces.
@A-G-Meade I like what you're saying about the "intent" to flesh it out later, or use it in a more considered way. There's that word intent again.
@Heather-Boyd I hear what you're saying about process here. It's almost as if the definition of a sketch is really up to the artist. A sketch is not really something that the outside world can determine, but a part of your own process, so it doesn't matter that someone's sketch looks like someone else's finished painting. I suppose there are those who might think that, say, Sarolla's paintings look like sketches compared to someone really rendered like Ingres, or David, but I don't think anyone would argue that Sarolla was just sketching!
@Phil-Cullen @smceccarelli I think that chasing after keeping the liveliness in the final piece is something that is inherent to artmaking. It seems to me we'll always be chasing it! Thanks for reminding me of that.
Thanks everyone for your responses, it's given me some things to chew on!
Hi everyone, I have been thinking about this for a long time... it's essentially, when is something finished, vs when is it "just a sketch"? There are people who's sketches look like other people's finished pieces and other people's "sketches" that are often more appealing than the final piece. I just thought it would be interesting and informative to hear what everyone's take is on what the difference is?
I guess for me, it's maybe in the artist's intention. A sketch is something where they are working out problems for a bigger piece, or maybe they are studying some aspect of something, but maybe they're not necessarily thinking about composition and what effect it ultimately should have. Whereas a finished piece has intention and a proposed context, ie it's meant to be used as a book cover, fine art painting hanging on someone's wall, editorial illustration, etc.
What do you all think?
Another vote for sending it out! There are always things we can work on and I am learning that people's portfolios are not so much finished as much as they are just a fluid, constantly evolving work in progress. I see your work and I think, oh yeah, totally I can see this in a book.
@josegalue25 Nice! I totally think you should start applying. The worst that can happen is you'd get some good feedback from one of the places where you apply.
One thing I think you could do is on your website, the images are pretty small. So some of them are really hard to see. I would suggest making them a lot bigger, especially for the vis dev work.
Keep us posted as to how things go!
Interesting article, and I love reading everyone's thoughts here.
I think I would generally agree with the idea that in any kind of creative space, you have this sort of gravity around trends and styles and everything "looking the same".
I think of music for example. Whenever you talk to someone who doesn't listen to a certain genre of music that you might really love, I think it's common to hear, "Oh it all sounds the same". There are certain conventions and a kind of vocabulary that grows up amongst the practitioners which is what makes it the "genre". These conventions change over time because of technology, economic factors, etc. But I think its necessary for things to "look the same" in a sense.
I see it actually as a kind of encouraging sign, because then it gives us as artists something to react to and potentially differentiate ourselves with.
As far as the financial question, I think the good concept is important, but it's also important to innovate in how we make money. I mean, perfect example all three of the SVS guys, they're all doing all sorts of different and innovative things with their careers. SVS being one piece of their portfolio. I think, unfortunately, we're in an age where it's really rare to be someone who makes their entire living from one creative channel (editorial, children's books, etc). But the good thing is that we have all these means to design our OWN creative path.
Anyway, my two cents!
@peteolczyk Oh man. I wish I did have photos. It was over 20 years ago though, before digital photography was really a thing, so I'd have to go sifting through some film if I even DID have anything. Hah! How times have changed.
@Coreyartus Thank you so much! Your post is super encouraging, I'm really glad you liked it and that it reads as it does for you. Making art can really put you in a weird place sometimes where you can't see things as other people do anymore, so I really appreciate the feedback here.
I hadn't thought of doing an illustrated version of the play to be honest, but it might be a fun idea!
As for text, yes, I would like to put at least a title on, but haven't quite worked my way around to that piece yet.
Thanks again for taking the time to leave the feedback!