Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Made my custom shapes and templates for that smudge trick. Today I went through and messed with some various colors for skin tones. Not as much about the drawing as playing with the colors. It would be fun to get hired to do a female portrait pic or something a little more pin-up-ish.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Study time

Going to try to take a couple days to practice/learn and create some new tools.

1.Simplifying group shots. I'm not Ralph Horsley so I don't want or care to paint a bunch of background faces and details but I haven't had enough practice with losing details in crowd shots and still make them seem realistic. I know that currently, I would put more work into it than I would want to and then I'd probably have to blur it all and maybe lighten it all with some atmospheric perspective. I think that can arrive at some good results but a more direct route would save me time. So I need to practice painting low details faces and anatomy with atmosphere factored in right from the start.

2.Experiment with painting with the brush on hard light mode. I've seen some artists who paint consistently nice skin tones where a lot of it is done using the hard light setting. I've never tried it, so I want to experiment with it some.

3.I've tried this method of painting with custom shapes LINK. The problem is that I've had problems with photoshop saving the shapes and if I have to create the custom shapes every time I need to use them then it's no longer a time-saver. I need to figure out what this bug is and how to fix it.

Example by Sparth

4.Saw this technique posted by Tom Scholes and Sparth the other day and I want to experiment with it some. Basically the middle image works as a template and then you use a hard square smudge brush set to 100 strength to push the base around. Basically you can quickly create a bunch of components with a shared design sense, etc. So I think I'll create a couple of templates that could combine with this technique to speed things up down the line.

Image by Scholes or Sparth.

5.Try out these new bristle brushes that photoshop has. I've dabbled but I want to spend a more serious amount of time to see how I can MAKE them useful.

6. Basically just look through some of these photoshop tools I haven't used and see how I can MAKE them useful with my process. Focus for all of this is how I can speed up my process. Healing brush, patch tool, color replacement tool, history brush,all of the 3D object tools, gradient maps, unsharp mask( am I the only one not using this?). Also I need to think anew about my custom brushes and what I need to make.

7. Pick up some new tutorial vids by other artists.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quick post

Disclaimer: The artwork in this post IS NOT MINE. I don't have down the artists' names so feel free to do a tineye search if you want to find out who made them.

Just wanted to talk quickly about why I'm trying to be more colorful as it goes beyond just trying to create more marketable prints.

The root of it is seeing artwork that I really enjoy that's really colorful and thinking, "I would never arrive at that image with my current process/thinking." I don't think stylistically an artist needs to be able to do everything but I think where I'd rather my style narrow is in the drawing aspect and not on the color. Maybe I'm a bass but I want to be able to occasionally hit a soprano note so I'm trying to expand my range of colors in the hopes that it results in my process having more possible destinations than currently available.

Anyways here are some examples of pieces that I've seen and thought, "my current methods would never lead here to this nice image." Second image is by Perzo. Third by Belibr. Fifth by Tom Scholes.

Card Art and figures

I finished up another card yesterday and posted it up on DA. I can hear the crickets. Perhaps the nearly perfectly divided composition wasn't the best idea. I was trying to go way more colorful than I ever go so I was afraid that by trying to have good color circulation I would end up with too gaudy of a piece. Regardless I'll probably make a print of it for whatever convention I attend next. I think brighter and more colorful prints sell better and this card stretches more into the surreal genre than fantasy which I think could result in better print numbers. The box cover for this is going to be fairly tricky as the scene is going to be more difficult for me to continue introducing these crazier color palettes. It will likely be a while before I'm allowed to show that.

Here are some sketches from figure drawing last night. I was pretty happy with the short poses and then things fell apart on the longer poses.

Thoughts I've had lately on art and improving
- When I was really into conceptart.org I would really labor over work. I'd ask everybody for their opinions and re-work pieces for months. I'd beat my head against the wall trying to sort out conflicting advice. Now I really feel like it's best to just do a post-mortem a couple weeks after, listen to any feedback but absolutely move onto the next piece. I think I've improved much more quickly by simply moving on while acknowledging that the previous piece wasn't perfect.

-I've noticed a lot of negativity from other artists lately regarding how others create their work and their content. Such thoughts used to occupy my thoughts. "Is this guy just tracing photos? That armor isn't realistic! That axe is too big! He used a 3D model! He used photo reference! That's just shameless fan art! That's realistic but so stiff and boring. They're using this custom brush. This color scheme is so overused. Rim light is such a gimmick. "etc. I just realized yesterday that I've completely stopped giving a shit about what others are doing in their work. It doesn't matter. It's irrelevant. It's poisonous to yourself to even think about and worse to put it out there. It's a speed bump on the road to rocking your own shit. I think putting this out of my mind has also helped me improve in the past year and a half.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sketch Night

Been sick this week. Working on some cards and a board game box art. Trying to be more colorful than usual.
Anyways, here are some sketches from figure drawing nights until I can actually show anything I've been working on. Starting to wonder if I should do detailed still life drawings on Tuesday rather than figure drawing. Landscapes might be an even better idea.