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.
I got an inquiry today about a book I illustrated asking if I was going to do any "remarques" for it. LOL, I have no idea what this is! I looked it up a little online and it sounds like it's an original pencil drawing in the margin of a print? But I'm not totally sure as there aren't a ton of results that come up.
Anyone know what this entails or have you done them?
Hey @juliemillardart Ideally for me, I work out my values early on in the process by doing small 3 value, black and white thumbnails and working out the big shape design before I dive into painting.
One way you can kind of mimic this process if you're already deep into a piece (as you are here), is to create a white layer and a black layer, with a mask, and some transparency and on top of the image. You then work only in the masks to figure out your big shapes. I suggest working small so you don't get into the fine details. You want to just focus on a few shape areas. This also doesn't instantaneously solve all your problems, but it does give you some direction. Often with values, there is a tendency to go too far in the dark or light direction and we end up with a kind of "noisy" image. Really, the range of dark and light is much smaller than we usually think in any particular are. So for example, the shadow on the snowman could be lighter overall than it is (that's just one example).
I don't know if that makes sense, but values are such a huge subject, so it's challenge to try to put it into words.
I've attached a photoshop comp that I quickly put together with the black and white layers so you can see what I'm talking about. I use this trick and variations of it sometimes when I find my values getting out of control. You can see how just doing this quick "study" helps to group and design the image into big shapes and makes it read more clearly. I'm not saying this is the right grouping or values by any means, it was just a super quick pass.
Add the fact that the composition of your line drawing is quite solid made it really easy to just throw this on top, so you're not as far off as you might think!
Let me know if that makes sense and if you find that helpful at all!
@ABCre8ive This is awesome feedback! Just all the questions you have makes me realize how much I have it in my head, but what's not being conveyed. Exactly what I was hoping for, thank you!
Genre: I'm trying to do something along the lines of the old Twilight Zone TV show, so it's like a little morality tale set in the old west. So not Zombie.
The Story: The basic idea is that Reynolds killed his buddies to take all the gold for himself and they've come back to get their revenge. I wanted there to be a kind of "twist" where his greed and paranoia ends up sowing the seeds of his own demise. Obviously his motivation is not coming across here. Classic example of trying to cram my characters into a plot I've "oh so cleverly" devised!
Great stuff for me to chew on, I might have to go back to the script, but better to catch this kind of thing in the thumbnails than after having spent ages designing everything out.
Fun! I will just agree with what others have said, finding ways to still indicate their hairy caveman quality without things getting so busy is the biggest visual issue I see.
One thing, and it might just be me, but if they're cavemen wouldn't he be painting directly on the wall?
Otherwise though, I like the idea and the overall feel of the piece! Nice work!
Hey folks! I've been working on a set of storyboards for a short animated film and I've gotten to the rough thumbnails stage. I would love some feedback.
These are rough thumbnails, so I'm not thinking too much yet about any composition details yet, mostly I just want to know if anything is confusing or unclear in terms of the storytelling.
If anyone has any general storyboarding tips, that would be helpful as well.
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?