Jon Neimeister
Jon Neimeister
Senior Artist at Hi-Rez Studios
Jon Neimeister
When adding colors not present in the reference for interest, what are some of the things you like to think about when choosing those colors?
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Jon Neimeister
This is a good start! I can tell you're trying to focus on the structure rather than just drawing outlines which is great to see, definitely keep that up! I think you may have jumped ahead a little with the details and shading though. The overall proportions of the head are a little off, you've elongated it vertically a fair amount, which is causing some strangeness especially around the mouth area. I would recommend setting aside shading for later and spend some time focusing just on drawing the large forms of the head in accurate proportions and perspective. You don't even have to add features, just doing simple mannequin heads is great exercise and faster to do than a full portrait. If you make it a goal to do 10 of these a day you'll make huge progress in a short time. Keep up the good work! :D
PortraitForms
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Jon Neimeister
Lovely painting! I think you've done a great job observing the colors from the reference, at thumbnail size you've captured the overall impression perfectly and your value control is good. I think part of the struggle is that the reference itself isn't super interesting color-wise; the fruits are nice, but the lighting is very neutral and ambient which doesn't create the most interesting colors. I'd maybe do some more studies from references that are shot outdoors so you can get the warm light vs. the cool shadows and bounced light from nearby objects, that kind of complexity is a big part of what makes colors look interesting. As for this particular piece, Gourd's suggestion of color notes is a good ones. Marco Bucci talks about this a lot in his videos; you can incorporate all kinds of colors in your painting that aren't there in the reference to make it more interesting, and in this case I think that would help a lot since the reference is a bit flat. I did a quick paintover of what I might try to do with it if that helps. Keep up the good work! :D
FruitColor
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Jon Neimeister
These are quite impressive for just starting a couple months ago! It looks like some of them might be from reference and some might be from imagination? The first image of the bird (skeksis?) feels really solid and has fantastic line weight. The wolverine further down though feels a little less observed and a bit messier, but maybe that was just an earlier drawing. Overall your handling of the pencils and ink is really sophisticated, you've got a good handle on your tools and are doing a great job managing your values to create focus. I think the concepts Proko talks about in the figure drawing course would be helpful to you; the way he shows simplifying complex subjects into simpler forms (robo bean, mannequinization, etc.) are relevant whether you're drawing figures, monsters, or spaceships. So doing exercises like that where you break things down to their fundamental structure will be really beneficial as you continue practicing. Beyond that, just keep going! You've got a great start here and the most important thing is to just do more, study from reference, and have fun. :D
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Jon Neimeister
There's a lot of good things going on with the piece! The colors and style are all very charming. Compositionally, I think it suffers a bit from having the bird relegated perfectly to one corner of the image, basically dividing the image into even 1/4ths emphasized by the beam of light. A great rule of thumb for composition is the "Three Bears" rule: Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. Where one element of the piece is the largest, another element in the middle, and a third is the smallest. You always want to look for ways to divide the space in the image this way, as the contrast is more visually interesting than even divisions. You could solve this by moving the bird around a bit, or by experimenting with cropping / expanding the canvas. Ultimately with composition your main goal is dividing the space in interesting ways, and creating the areas of high density shapes interacting with each other contrasted against larger areas of simpler shapes to let the eye rest. This balance creates interest and emphasizes your focal point. It's kinda hard to explain but here's an example using the image you shared below:
3Bears
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Jon Neimeister
These are fantastic practice, and are looking good overall! It's always great to see folks working on their basic perspective, it's such an important skill that a lot of artists skip over cause drawing a million cubes is "boring", but it makes everything else 10x easier so definitely keep this up! You'll be glad you did. :D I think your cubes in general are looking good. Some of them are a little wobbly / skewed, but the convergence generally seems correct. I'd suggest putting horizon lines and vanishing points on these canvases to give yourself a scaffold to work on top of, and that should make the cubes significantly easier. With the cylinders, you're getting the convergence correct but the ellipses are a bit off on a lot of them. Essentially rotated in a way that breaks the perspective. There's a super easy solve for this though- if you draw a line through the exact center of the cylinder, this will be your Minor Axis, which is the shortest distance from one side of the ellipse to the other, AKA whatever direction the ellipse is foreshortening in, it will always follow this axis. Then if you take the Minor Axis and rotate it 90 degrees, you will get your Major Axis, which is the *longest* distance from one side of the ellipse to the other. Regardless of perspective or how foreshortened the cylinder is, these two axis will always remain the same and will always be 90* to each other; the only thing that changes is that the more the cylinder turns away from you, the shorter the minor axis becomes. If you want to be super precise about it, you can start by drawing an elongated cube, draw a line from each opposite corner to the other creating an X to find your exact center, then draw outwards following your perspective grid to get your Major and Minor axis, then simply put the ellipse properly in the squares and connect the edges to make a cylinder. It seems a bit finnicky at first, but if you do this exercise a lot you'll learn to eyeball these axis and be able to freehand them without too much trouble, which makes life way easier when drawing more complicated subjects. Keep up the good work! :D
Ellipses
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Jon Neimeister
This is looking good overall! You've done a nice job both capturing the gesture and exaggerating it in ways that help the pose. I have a few suggestions that mostly come down to more careful observation of the reference. There's a few parts, mostly in the arms and legs, where it seems like you're drawing what you know rather than what you see. - In the arm, there's not a clearly defined separation between the deltoid and tricep (in this pose), the curve of the arm flows pretty seamlessly from the shoulder to the elbow. You've added a break there which is fighting your gesture. - Similar thing with the leg, the curves you added between the quads and the knee are there in the reference, but they're more subtle and in this case your exaggeration is fighting the gesture, so I would smooth / simplify those transitions. - A great way to check yourself on these kinds of things is to look for the peaks of the curves in all areas of the body. I've drawn examples of what I mean on the left here; a curve can have a peak in the center, or it can be offset to one side, causing a slow ramp up on one side and a fast drop off on the other. These kinds of offset peaks are very common in human figures, so looking for them will help you a lot with accuracy and gesture. - Keep an eye on the alignment between symmetrical elements as well. In the reference, the camera level (and horizon line) is somewhere in her mid-torso; that combined with the slight tilt to her shoulders means her right breast (the one on our left) is actually slightly higher on the canvas than the other one, which you've reversed in your drawing. It's a subtle difference, but things like this can make or break the perspective of a figure, which has a huge impact on it feeling convincing. - Lastly, try to keep an eye on precisely how things overlap or not. In your drawing you have her jawline extending beyond her neckline, but in the reference we can see the back of her neck and there's a small space between the edge of the neck and where the jaw begins. Again a subtle thing, but it can make a big difference, so always keep an eye out for overlaps and be sure you're identifying them correctly. All in all these are pretty subtle things! You've done a great job with the overall proportions and gesture, so these are just things to consider for future drawings to help you capture the figure more accurately. Keep up the good work! :D
Figure001
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Jon Neimeister
Hey Mii, love your piece! There's some fun texture in there and really lovely colors. It's great to see your goals and inspiration as well, that helps a lot with knowing where you're aiming with your work. My main suggestion would be to devote some time to fundamental studies: figure drawing, portrait drawing, still lifes and practicing painting light from life and photos. Art fundamentals are universal regardless of style; the best anime artists have extremely good fundamentals and can draw realism just as well as they draw anime. Their stylized work is merely an "editing" of that fundamental knowledge: choosing which parts of it to use and which parts to ignore in order to achieve both the style and the desired level of realism. Once you know how to draw and paint realistically, it becomes infinitely easier to stylize! There's a lot of fundamentals to study, so I would suggest picking one you're passionate about and just focus on that for a month or two. For instance, you could go through Proko's portrait drawing courses, do the assignments, and maybe halfway through the course and after you're finished try doing another portrait in your own style to apply what you've learned in the way you want. It may seem a little counterintuitive but I promise it'll help a lot! Feel free to reply if you have any other specific questions, happy to help. :)
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Jon Neimeister
Lovely piece, the handling of the figure is really cool and the gesture / expression reads really well. Feels powerful and dynamic! In terms of feedback, I think some of the anatomy might be a bit overrendered, mainly in the raised shoulder/arm/scapula, and I would look at simplifying those. Even if they look this way in your reference, human bodies are weird and sometimes accuracy isn't aesthetically pleasing, so always give yourself the liberty to deviate from the reference to make a more appealing piece. There's also a lot of warm going on in the image and personally I wouldn't mind seeing it contrasted with some colder tones in the rocks and sky. maybe even desaturating the light side of the figure. They don't have to be intense blues or anything, some desaturated reds and oranges will do, but I think it'll help make the warms even more potent; though this may have been a request from the client which sometimes is just the way it is haha. Keep it up! :D
AlbumCrit
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Jon Neimeister
Great piece! I love what you've done with the textures and there's a lot of nice color play going on here. I think your understanding of turning form is actually pretty good looking at your values, and the issue I'm seeing more of is not understanding the forms themselves. The way you've handled the shadow edges is quite sophisticated, but some of them aren't quite structured correctly, most notably in the more detailed areas of the features (nose/eyes/mouth). I think doing some drawing studies of the face would help a lot; focus in on simplifying that planar structure like Loomis does and deepen your understanding of the planes themselves, and that will make rendering them much easier. Also keep an eye out for the shadows going gray; sometimes it can be a dissonance between the reference photo and stylized painting choices, like if this model was outside or against a white studio background you may have captured the shadows correctly, but you've placed her in a warm "room" so there would probably be warmer tones filling the shadows. All in all really solid, lots of good things happening here! I love how you handled the hair as well, it's got great gesture. Keep it up!
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Jon Neimeister
These are gorgeous! The landscape is especially nice. :D Bougereau's a hard one to copy, I admire your bravery haha. One thing I'd mention is that some of the halftones are getting a little dark in your figure, especially with Boog's style, he often uses extremely tiny value shifts coupled with a slightly more exaggerated temperature shift to turn forms in his halftones, keeping them all extremely tightly grouped as a shape. The only major value shifts tend to happen in the shadow areas, which are also fairly grouped, and you can probably darken some of your reflected lights to match. Overall a really successful study, just something to keep in mind and watch out for!
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Kristian Nee
Awesome to have you Jon! Your art is sick!
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Jon Neimeister
Thanks, Kristian! Glad to be a part of this :D
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afeegorr
Hi Jon and hi everyone, totally excited about this art community thing. I really struggle with color, value and rendering to a specific level. Any advice, Tipp, Tutorial or whatever are totally welcome, please help, kiss kiss and much love!
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2FB6C98A A7F8 4723 826D 66CDD6577C75
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Jon Neimeister
Hey Afeegorr, welcome to the community! I love that you're not afraid to push your colors hard; that first image is really interesting and has a lot of nice temperature contrast. I would agree that you can probably work on your values a bit; Dorian Iten has a great video on shading on Proko that I'd highly recommend watching, as what he discusses there is the core of all rendering. Also be sure to check your values as you're rendering in color; some areas, like the warm light on the shoulder, aren't actually lighter in value so they don't read as light, but more like the shirt has something yellow painted onto it. Quick example of what I mean attached. Beyond that just keep doing what you're doing! All of Proko's shading videos will be helpful, and Marco Bucci has some fantastic material on lighting on his channel. Also James Gurney's book "Color and Light" is full of gold and a must-have for all painters. Keep up the good work! :D
LightColor
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Jon Neimeister
This looks lovely! A lot of the rendering is very sensitively handled; it'd be really easy to go overboard on the halftones here but didn't which is great. I half-agree with the other comments about the darker values; in a fully realistic scenario that would be true, but there's also a lot to be said for intentionally high-key images and clamping your shadow values for clarity. Personally it doesn't bother me, but it's a subjective choice depending on your intention for the piece! The main thing I would probably point out is the eyes aren't handled quite as intentionally as the other features, there's a bit of structure lacking in the brow, and I would avoid drawing the eyelashes as individual strands, but rather define them as soft shapes that indicate the curve of the lashes. Also the position of the highlight feels a bit off to me, as the lid has thickness that would block a highlight from hitting that high up on the eye, I would probably lower it a touch and maybe shrink it. Also don't forget that the iris itself is concave, so the "peak" of the light on the iris will be on the opposite side of your light source. Keep up the good work! :D
EyeCrit
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Jon Neimeister
This is a great start! The structure is feeling good and the markmaking is really lovely. As far as making the colors a bit more exciting; I would focus mostly on creating temperature contrast. If you darken the skin just a touch you'll have more room to get some lovely cool highlights in there, influenced from the background. Then I would keep an eye on any downward facing planes / shadow edges for opportunities for reflected light and subsurface scattering to create warmer tones for contrast. You can also push the cool tones even further if you want a more stylized finish; take a look at Steven Assael's work for some great examples. Also I'd keep an eye on so heavily separating the head from the neck; it's hard to say for sure without seeing the reference, but it looks like you have the jaw rolling into full shadow but its value is much lighter than the other shadows. I would probably darken it down and then bring the chin back out with reflected light. Great piece, keep it up!! :D
MihailNenov Portrait
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Jon Neimeister
These are excellent, well done!
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Maria J Venegas-Spadafora
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Jon Neimeister
Thanks, Maria!
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Jon Neimeister
Great start @Tiger Gayle-Walker! Your lines have a nice fluidity to them, and you're doing a good job of keeping the individual curves nice and dynamic. I think the areas you could improve on are: 1- Proportion and structure. The arms are quite short and there's no indication of foreshortening, and the head and back leg aren't quite connecting to the body- did you have reference for this or was it from imagination? Drawing from ref is the fastest way to improve proportion. :) 2- While the individual rhythms are nice, they're not connecting with each other to create larger rhythms through the whole figure. I'd start with identifying and simplifying the centerline a bit: her primary action is that she's pressing forwards, so everything else should follow that curve in some way (red). After that, the limbs will feel a lot more gestural if you find ways to connect them to other body parts with a consistent rhythm (blue and green). Lastly sometimes you'll want to deviate from anatomy to get a better gesture: since her centerline is curved towards the right, having the arch of the back do the same will reinforce the gesture (orange), you can always add anatomy on top later. Keep up the good work! :D
TigerGayleWalker
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Liandro
Beautiful lighting, @Jon Neimeister!
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Jon Neimeister
Thanks, Liandro!
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Josh Sunga
Awesome glow Jon!
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Jon Neimeister
Thanks, Josh! :D
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