Hi! Thank you for taking the time to do an AMA. These are my questions: What are the pros and cons of specializing in one niche/type of ilustración? I've to learn to adapt to my clients due my day job, but I've always wanted to specialize in medieval or modern fantasy. I've been keeping it as a hobby because I've been often told that niche is a death end, because that industry is dying (still haven't got a concrete answer of what is "dying"); and if you don't build your own fan base and make your own business, you never going to make it. How true or false is this? Thanks in advance for your time! Hope you have a good day!
I second this! It will be extra helpful specially for the ones like me, who have a day job and are working on developing this as a career. Or students who attend class and need to make room on their schedules. I hear there was a "party something, something" where the lives were announced, but can't find it anymore. I understand sometimes lives can be impromptu, but it will be nice to know a day before to make some time to see it and participate. Specially because Youtube is awful sending notifications. Also it will be nice to know what courses are coming, so you can organize your expenses and save money for those. :)
Hi @Graciela Hinojosa, I can definitely relate to your frustration in learning how to paint digitally while trying to get that painterly look. I think that digital painting is much harder to learn than traditional painting because it is much less intuitive. Here are a couple ways that you can tackle the issues that you're running into: 1) If you want a process that involves painting with less layers, then I highly recommend that you focus less on digital painting, and transition into traditional painting. Traditional painting will force you into the habit of making really well thought out decisions because you are limited to only '1 layer' (your canvas). As you become proficient as a traditional painter, those decision making skills will come through in your digital art work, allowing you to work on fewer layers 2) This is the 'faster' method that I probably wouldn't recommend: find digital brushes that give your work a more traditional feel. The reason that I'm hesitant the recommend this right away is because it would be hard to utilize these brushes to the fullest without investing the time in suggestion #1. However, I did run into major roadblocks with the look of my work because I was stubborn about using crappy brushes. Honestly, the default photoshop brushes are not very good at achieving the look that you're looking for, and taking the time to find a really good brush set that works with you can be extremely helpful. Don't shy away from using the mixer brush tool and the smudge brush, because adding these to my arsenal helped me find that more 'traditional' feel. One thing I would like to point out is that getting that 'traditional look' does not always mean that you work on fewer layers. I've attached two paintings from artists that I really like: the first is John Park and the second is Joon Ahn. I've taken classes with both of these instructors, and they work by separating their piece into a lot of different layers (staying organized of course), which allows them to make adjustments on the fly without setting them back. Both of them are able to achieve that painterly style, while working with a bunch of layers. Just something to consider. (However, I do realize that if you find it less fun to work with a lot of layers, then it is best to learn to work on less layers like you mentioned. I didn't want to make it sound like I didn't fully read your post.) Hope this helps!
I do digital, and I generally use 2 paint layers and 1 sketch layer. I have a background layer where I paint background colors so they go behind the portrait. I have a sketch layer where I do a quick lay in sketch (and that layer gets turned off later). Then I pain the portrait on 1 layer. I don't like the black and white with color overlay. I agree that some people get great results, but they don't look as authentic to me. They look more digital. I go for more of a traditional painting look with my digital work.
I did this 2 hour studies to practice. My goal with this exercise was to paint correct values, with complementary colors, without an underpaint. I always struggle with digital because I depend too much in layer modes. Usually I do a black & white underpaint and color with a new layer on top in either color mode or multiply. I know a lot of artist do this and get amazing results, but personally I get too frustrated with this workflow, I want to be able to paint with less layers. I will appreciate if you can critique these paintings, if you have any tips to improve, it will be helpful. Thank you for your time, and I hope you have a good day :)
It's more easy to learn watercolor when you start with simple shapes first. This help you to understand the medium, and you learn how to control the brushstrokes, water flow and how the pigments behave. I know a lot of artist have their own opinion, but for me the beauty of this medium is: the waterflow and the pigments do all the work! So you need to understand them first. Start with fundamentals in watercolor, you can find a lot of free videos on youtube explaining how to do this. I know it may sound boring and kinda tedious, but with watercolor you need to understand first how the paint behaves. Look how to make gradients, blending exercises, how to mix pigments, which pigments are transparent and which are opaque, and how to work on different papers. You don't need the most expensive materials, you just need to learn how to use what you have. After learning this, and before starting any paint, you need to analyze your subject. identify where the shadows and where the lights are, so you can plan ahead. This is why simpler forms can help you at the beginning, try to chose simple flowers, leaves, fruits, objects or landscapes. Now, do not get rid of this painting! It's a starting point, and it's always good to have a starting point! Learn your fundamentals and try this again. See how you improve and where do you need more practice, and study that area. The more you learn the basics, the less you'll feel stuck in a painting in the future, because you'll know what steps to follow, but you need to learn how to walk before starting to run. :)
Hey guys, I did go with the harvestman "theme" here. When I signed up for the course I planned on doing a monster I currently need for a story, but found during the first lesson that it wouldn't go well with the harvest/farming/halloween theme. With my visual brainstorming, I tried to go in a different direction that Scott did. I used this method before during my graphic design courses, but it was never nearly as much fun as it is with monsters :) I will do another sheet with follow up ideas. Can't wait to continue. I have some rpg troupes in my mind, some mythical monster concepts and some more machine/plant (cyberpunk) hybrids. I had little peeks into Sonjas, Teds, Gracielas and Nates work, because I was too curious. I will comment and try to give feedback but want to wait with my follow-up sheet. Otherwise I get too distracted and just feel jealous of all the great ideas and themes! Amazing start guys, looking forward to see the progress through the course. If you guys have any hints for me, feel free to hit me! All the best, Andre
It looks really cool!! What I would suggest to work on for your next project is gesture and construction for the figure beneath. Look at perhaps Will Weston work, Peter Han - dynamic sketching as a reference for construction drawing. Also maybe Michael Hampton - his gesture phase and then the construction he adds on top. With gesture drawing try to push and exaggerate the pose to make it more interesting and alive and less stiff. And then build the 3d shapes on top of tubes and cubes. And then on top of that some basic anatomy - you can use any anatomy book to help you with that stage. What helps me with poses is gathering lots of references and even taking picture of myself which a lot of times works best for me. Then I exaggerate it for my needs and balance it with different references like body types, weight and anatomy. I don't go for the first pose I get and try to experiment with different poses that can get me a more interesting result even if it's supposed to be a more neutral pose. As for rendering, I think it's something we improve anyway and just gather enough reference for materials and texture, lighting and just search for a video tutorial for the parts you struggle with. You can grab any course or book for that, Color and Light by James Gourney, Marco Bucci videos, Sam Nielson courses. You have a great base and I think you'll improve very fast, keep going!! :D In terms of design, if you keep sketching while having an idea in mind + using references, you'll build up visual library and improve your designing skills. But if you do mindless doodles it won't take you very far unless it's meant to be like sketching from memory or shape exploration and still has a goal for it then do it. Keep the design principles in mind like: Small, medium, big. Interesting silhouette, clarity, focal point. Contrast by value/proximity/hue/edge/direction/saturation/shape variety/proportion/texture. I really hope it's helpful and keep going :D
Hi! I was wondering if I can get some critique to improve? A few weeks back I took an online character design course and this was one of the homeworks. We were supposed to pick a character and adapt it, to put it in a complete different setting. So I pick the Green Knight from Castle Crashers (medieval fantasy and funny game) and put it inside the world of Fallout (a post apocalyptic survival game). The goal was to make the character recognizable, but in the new style. The homework was already delivered, but it was reviewed by other classmates; and although I appreciate the review, I would like a little more critique than "I like it" or "I don't like it" Now, this is the first time I paint digitally something, eehh... semi-realistic? Does this fit that category? I usually do more cartoony stuff on the computer, but I want like to change that. I enjoy a lot this style and I would like to improve it. So, what I'm asking is: Is there's something I can improve in the new design of the character? Is there other exercises to start to develop your character design skills? So far I've only try drawing from prompt challenges, like Mermay or Inktober, but I'm not sure if it's working, or maybe I'm doing something wrong? Also, I'm already taking digital painting courses over here, and I've been practicing; but any tips or critique in my painting skills is highly appreciate it :) Thank you for your time! And I hope you have a great day! :)
This was great! The subject was kinda tricky to me because the, let's say, popular harvest elements, is something I only have seen in movies and games. That season is different in my country, and the word "harvest" evokes something different than pumpkins, scarecrows and cold weather; is more like sweet bread, hard work, family reunions, oranges, tangerines, and the Día de Muertos (the Day of the Dead). So I tried my best to mix and match what I've seen in pop culture and what I've experience.
Asked for help
I did this color study today (1,5 hour) My goal is to push myself to work fast while also learning something about colors, structure light and shape design. I think the skin and the hand was hard to do, under such short amount of time. Link to reference photo: https://unsplash.com/photos/BthSqlD2Cso
Hi! My name is Graciela and I'm from Mexico. I've been looking for an online artist community for a while, and after hearing the announcement at the beginning of the week at Proko's channel, I'm glad I finally sign in. I'm looking forward to see everyone's work! I'm a designer at the moment, I love drawing, painting, bright colors, and contrast. Since I do a lot of advertise graphics in my day job, I'm used to work with vectors and I did my digital paintings like that for while, but this past year I've been trying to walk out of my comfort zone and improve my digital painting skills. I would love to make art my full time job, still not sure what path to take, so for now I'm trying a little bit of everything to see what I like more. I feel kinda stuck at the moment in my art skills, so any critique to improve is highly appreciate it! These are a few of my studies/works from the last 2 years. Hope everyone have an amazing day! ♥