So, I keep finding it hard to be at my computer consistently every day. For that reason I’m going to change it to one post every other day and try to make sure every post contains some artwork. This is just a quick note for now, I have to run out for errands and other things that have kept me busy this morning. I’ll post something again later tonight.
So with travel and mother’s day plans keeping me busy I’m taking may 13th as a holiday. Day 5 involved some quick revision on the concept art copy I started on saturday. With a fresh look at it, i saw a lot of proportion things I was not happy with. As I work on it now, I’m mostly just making mistakes. The reality is that I’m just tired and feeling a little ill. I’m calling it a night for now. I’ll be back to it tomorrow.
This morning I got to put an hour or so into this. I’ve always admired the concept art that was done for the recent castlevania reboot (lords of shadow). If you get a chance look around for it, almost all of it is amazing. I wanted to try to replicate something done in black and white digitally and this image came to mind. As a disclaimer this is not my design and the image belongs to capcom, but for learning purposes I’m trying to find my way through it’s development.
It’s pretty rough right now, but the basic forms and shapes are in place. One thing I’ve been struggling with is the early development of images. Normally on paper I would block out my shadow shapes and begin developing the value range. In photoshop I’m finding I have much more control working backwards. If I can create the rough silhouette of something and then build into it working higher in value I seem to get a better sense of where I’m going. I guess the difference is that I still have to ‘hunt’ for the right line and form where as with a pencil or charcoal stick in hand I know I can make the shape I want the moment I start. Right now the most refined thing is the gauntlet on his left hand, though It’s only in line as I was trying to get the design down. I’ll work on this when I get back to my desk monday.
Okay, so today was a busy day for non-art related things. Well at least not digitally. I did get some drawing done but I didn’t save during the process and when photoshop crashed while I was playing around with brush settings I had to stop anyway. Oh well, it was just brush testing anyway.
I spent my time today devoted to this reading about shortcuts and some tool usage. I have done this a lot already but this program has so much stuff I’ll probably never know it all.
Here are a few links to some articles I hit today:
The last one is not about shortcuts but rather focused on the brush tool alone in photoshop. I found it informative and helped clear up a few questions I had and helped me think of a few brush solutions to textures and brush rotation I hadn’t considered.
Anyway, I won’t be at my station for the next few days as I travel for mother’s day. I’ll post other things I research. I promise I’ll get back to actual image posting soon…
So this is a mixed bag. While I’m glad to be working again, one of my major issues is that I don’t like showing unfinished work or things I don’t consider to be very good.
I need to get over that.
So this is about an hour of messing around. I’m working a lot on trying to find a way to replicate the way I do gestures, mostly because it’s become the way I draw. I don’t really do line work (though I need to work on developing finished inks) and I tend to think in terms of shadows, although these gestures don’t convey that. Most of the time went into the skull. I woke up stubborn and didn’t want to find an anatomical resource so I just winged it, but every time I looked at it I realized something was wrong and kept changing it. It’s still not good, but I managed to ignore it and finally warm up. The gestures are probably about 30 seconds a piece. Slow by life drawing standards and worse when you consider the final product, but I’m still struggling with the medium.
As far as what I’ve learned today (since some of these posts will be more factual things I’ve researched rather than things I’ve drawn or painted) is that while I can map the rotation of a brush to the tilt of the pen, I’ve found it to be really awkward trying to artificially tilt the pen at an angle to get the wedge shape I’m working with to be in the direction I need it to be. What I need is a tablet and pen with rotation control (which the newer version of my tablets, the Intuos5’s have) but I can’t dump 600 dollars into a new tablet and pen. Oh well, I’ll find a way to work around it.
Edit: I just realized that the maximum size you can view this at here isn’t to scale. It’s probably about 60% of the full size. It doesn’t matter for this, but the skull was drawn at 100% and then I did all the gestures zooming out and adding to the canvas size. Next time, or if I get anything I really want to show at full detail I’ll have to cut the images apart and post them as a group.
I’ve been rather lost the last few months, struggling with motivation and direction. I’ve started a pet project for myself in trying to find digital ways to produce work the way I’m used to doing things traditionally. In the last few weeks I’ve mostly just realized I can’t do that. I can however find analogues and ways to get similar results. This process has been slow however, and muddied by distractions. Today however I’m going to start something new.
I’ve been trying to get myself to produce something daily. I’ve realized I need the pressure that comes with posting things publicly to get me to actually do it. I’m committing myself to a year of digital work. A lot of it will be terrible, possibly all of it. More importantly though, I’ll post about what I’ve learned in the program and methods I find through other artists and my own struggle in production.
Today I’ll cheat a little and start with what I learned last night. I’ve been playing with an old wacom intuos3 tablet I bought a long time ago before I had any actual resolve to use it. I’ve been struggling dealing with pen pressure and opacity creating a hard streaky look to any gradients that took a lot of labor to correct.
With some quick digging I don’t believe there is any way to create a setup using pen tip pressure to control opacity and not have that opacity build upon itself in subsequent strokes. Then answer obviously is to produce marks with 100% opacity and vary the value of the mark. Sadly there is no “value Jitter” in pen settings (at least not mappable to pen pressure, in cs5) but this article http://www.the-graphics-tablet.com/brush-settings.html explained the Hue Jitter. That is an old article about brush settings but it’s information is still relevant. By setting Hue Jitter to pen pressure and controlling your foreground and background colors you can get the gradation of value needed for good line work and other combinations I hadn’t considered beforehand.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about a few settings I’ve found to help control the inevitable undesirable change in pressure and therefor value you may not want in your marks.
So this isn’t working. As it turns out I can’t seem to be at my computer consistently every 2 days. I had wanted to post something every other day but I think I’ll move to every day and use the Queue system. This means I need to step it up as far as production goes… expect more gestures.
*Edit: just noticed I can set a date and time for every post instead of using the queue’s automated function. Okay. I’m figuring this out still :P
Hey, today I’m posting two things I would consider more finished for a change.
The painting is of the same model of the work I posted before. It was a pose that spanned two classes and has about 4 hours in working time devoted to it. It’s 22’x30. It’s done in oils on prepared paper. I could not get a photograph I feel really accurately represented the image. Of course that’s mostly because it’s hard to capture the play between thinly washed shadows and thicker opaque highlights in a photograph. The ultimate effect is that it makes the transitions around the spine seem very harsh. I assume most people won’t read this but for those who do, know that explaining it just makes me feel better. I’ll post more things from my figure painting class soon. We’ve done two more paintings since this one both of which I felt came out well.
The drawing was yet another one done this summer in figure drawing. It was a two class pose as well and is 24x18 done entirely in vine charcoal. For some reason the background paper texture bothers me more in this photograph than looking at it in life, but what ever. I’m never 100% happy with reproductions of work anyway. This piece was on display for a little while and what that ultimately means was it was out of my hands for a month or two. Subsequently it’s been smudged in a few places that I should go back and address. I like this drawing because it’s one of the few times I feel that I got away from line and used mostly value to establish the work. (I say this recognizing there are some heavy line definitions in a few places anyway…)
As a side note: I wish I could produce work as quickly as I can post it. I will have to rely heavily on posting gestures as they are the fastest thing to produce in good quantity, but pretty much everything I do from now on will make it here eventually.
Man, has it really been 12 days since my last post? Here I said I would do this every other day. Clearly my life is off the rails.
Nah, things are fine… but I have been busy. To make up for it, here’s three quick drawings from this summer.
The first was a study of the model with light raking across her back. This was the first drawing that tasked us with working with the shadow shapes of the figure instead of just drawing it’s forms. this took 40 minutes at the time but I think with comfort and confidence this drawing wouldn’t take nearly as much time to produce again. I like this one quite a bit though.
The second image is a head study from the same class. For a drawing with the goal of being more accurate, I like the immediacy of this one. It has a sense of light and structure in the face I wish I could capture every time. Of course I say this firmly believing there are a lot of things wrong with this, or that it could use much more attention. but we had 20 minutes and I haven’t messed with it since. I wish that ear wasn’t so untouched though…
This last thing was actually a scrap piece of paper I used to experiment on things while working on something else. I photographed it because I think the quick foot study I did was in many ways much better than the major drawing I was working on at the time….
Anyway, I feel bad I haven’t kept up. Hopefully I’ll do better from now on. Lets call it a birthday resolution. oh yeah, it’s my birthday btw.
Two posts today: This image is a photo taken of an oil study done in my current Figure Painting course. We’ve done some more finished work than this, but this was a quick first day exercise to become familiar with painting the figure quickly. Done in about 20 minutes I like some of the immediacy of it. I’m posting this one today because I think of it more as a gesture than some other paintings I’ll post later.