I had this idea of setting up the webcam and livestream when I draw on paper but there were some issues. First, I need to get a better rig that isn’t a tripod and blocks my own vision, and it should be easy to fix the focus. It also turned out to be a problem with over-lightning — when it looked good for me and looked shit on screen. Really shit. Poopville poopulation thirty-turd.
But I have not given up! I shall manage to do this because for some reason I think it’s more fun to watch than Photoshop streams.
Your art is really progressing.
Why thank you!
There’s a noticeable jump each third month or so in the quality. That last third month before the jump is also the worst every time, nothing really works and the lines feel stiff. Not to mention the self criticism which is mean spirited and devastating. That’s when there’s the least output here as even though I still draw every day — that’s the main personal goal: to draw and improve, it doesn’t have to be good. The things I post here on the other hand need to have some kind of…. Quality. But even that ratio, the discarded vs the decent, is improving.
A friend told me some time ago that she “writes better in English.” I didn’t get what she meant at all, I tried to twist and turn on that statement but to no real avail, could’t understand it. Then, recently as she explained it I got it. I was so focused on the language that I didn’t see the other meaning of better. Such as unhindered by grammar and tinkering, it allowed her to get down her ideas without bothering — at first — about critical language ponderings that hinder the creativity.
It’s still more than a bit odd to me though, the language to me is part of the creative process. The ability to play with words, twist them, toy with them as a worked up kitten. Nudge, bite, and chase. This is why most of my fiction is in Swedish. I’m pretty decent with English but nowhere near that intuitive level. (This can be a problem. You lot need to learn Swedish so you can read them!)
But I do admit, using the second language as a tool to overcome creative obstacles is interesting.
Lets do this! How I add colour on my drawings and for this I take the help of a Dalek. Here’s the finished — it’s not finished as you’ll see later — drawing with just the values.
The next step is to add colours on a few layers set to the blend mode colour. This means that the values are left more or less untouched. I say more or less as some colours such as yellow is problematic and might not work as intended straight out of the box with some values. Anyways, I use a few layers since this means I can paint over and under the previous colours.
See? Depending on details, I think I used three colour layers so far. Then I add an overlay layer, in this case too add some coloured tint and shadows — had I done this with a multiply layer I would have had to work a whole lot more with the opacity.
And then: soft light to add some highlights.
Adding details on a normal layer now. Since we now have the colours defined this is easy.
As a very small finishing touch a colour layer to give a blue reflection.
I usually do some post-colour tweaking with gradient maps and colour balance adjustment layers as well as a photo-grain filter to fuzzy it up a bit, but neither of those are pictured here.
Now. Go out there and ex-termin-ate while having some cookies.
Tried out to draw lots of fast sketches and never saving one even once. Oddly liberating. Suddenly there was no pressure and high expectations. And so far, I don’t miss any of the sketches.
I’m trying to put up a drawing practice schedule since I’ve noticed — Shock! Horror! — that I tend to do sort of the same thing over and over again. And that’s not the way to improve on things I’m bad at.
- Try to make some life drawings once a week (being a shut-in makes this a bit difficult)
- Mondays: gesture sketches. Loose stuff.
- Tuesdays: do some fundamentals.
- Fridays: paint a still from a film/tv-show.
- Weekends are for analogue. No digital works.
- Sundays: review the week’s output.
I should probably try and do more Illustration Fridays as well in order to get away from the usual themes.
AYK did something similar yesterday but over a period of nine years. Me? I really don’t want to dig up things nine years from now, I’m ashamed from things I did last year. But just because of that I did a monthly progression/regression chart from 2010 to almost now. 18 Months to be exact. All of them can be found here on this site if you dig through the archive.
Looked at the portraits of series one — September 2010 to January 2011 — and it’s silly how the layered improvements are in time. It’s also quite obvious to me about which I felt more confident in drawing, there’s a sloppiness when I doubt myself.
Not that I dislike the old work, I don’t. There are always thing in them that I like. It’s just that I feel a bit awkward about them now. Like I should have tried harder. It’s a silly thing to do. Silly and stupid and even more stupid.
From Florian Nicolle’s Behance. Wonderful mixed media stuff. This is how these are made according to his step by step.
- White splash
- Black chinese ink
- Water color
- Detail and text in Photoshop
Also, look at the cats he’s done with this technique. For fuck sake, they’re insane.
On Mark Summers’ Behance: SCRATCHBOARD.
Step 3: The finished black and white.
Each drawing begins as a black square. After this, using a knife, I scratch white lines into the surface. I try to discourage clients from asking to see “the work in progress,” as at any time there will be an entirely finished head here, a hand there, all floating in a sea of black.
Fuck. Me. I love this style. The wavy lines and all…
All done in Manga studio this time. Learning how to use the sketch layers and how they don’t appear when exported unless you force them to. I’m not sure I’ll ever love using this program for colour but for black and white line and tone? I just want to squeeze it and hug it and dub it Sir George.
I like discovering new things, finding out how to use it to something I hadn’t thought about before. This is a big thing when you see how I’ve been using Photoshop and never really nailed down to a style properly.
I’ve gone from Deluxe Paint on the Amiga to Photoshop 3 to Painter 4 (with a mouse no less!) to newer Photoshops to newer Painter back to Photoshop to Illustrator to Sai and then back to Photoshop. The Sai to Photoshop switch was mainly due to memory and Sai workspace. Had that one existed as a 64bit program I might never had done that and then I’d be somewhere else. It wouldn’t have been bad, just different. I’d probably not add grains when finishing something with colour, or trying to get visible brush strokes here and there.
The thing is, every change every time I’ve tried out something new I’ve benefited in every program — it is pretty much like trying out different types of paint, they all have their quirks but through those the mind finds new ways to work. The Illustrator was essential to parts of how I do colour and how I sketch things. I loved that calligraphy brush, the program is quite underrated for drawings. This is one of those Illustrator pieces and probably 98% of it is made with the calligraphy brush:
Sketching more in a moleskin helps too but most of my evolution has happened with digital. I have been eyeing things like ZBrush, not having much experience with 3D tools at all. (Tried Maya, head still hurts.)
I tried to do that thing where you take a sketch and clean it up into outlines straight away. It was a complete failure.
This is the fast moleskin sketch I made yesterday while on the train. (A) is where I tired to do proper outlines first — even tired to improve things with halftones — and (B) is my way of doing all the values on top of the sketch and then do the outline. I’ll stick with B I think.