You might be trying to master too many skills at the same time, which is what is making you feel like you're making progress in none. The reality is, you ARE making progress. I once heard someone say that when you're learning a new skill and it appears that you've plateaued or regressed, that's just your brain burning the new neural pathways that you've built. If I can suggest taking a new tactic for a little while - maybe work on something small that is really interesting to you (that won't necessarily make you money). Recently, I got some air-dry clay and sculpted a character that was related to my paintings, but also, so far removed from my other artwork, and it was SO MUCH FUN! That joy and excitement in the NEW drove me towards the work I'm making now, and I have at least 6 new painting ideas for my previous collection that was starting to feel stagnant. The long and short of it is - make stuff! Make a LOT of stuff! Once you have a HOARD of stuff, that's when you start curating your collection for others :)
Hey Antti, I think what @Liandro had to say is very profound and correct in his evaluation of why you are struggling. I wanted to add something that I noticed about you from your past posts. I think this is the biggest issue you are having: You do not plan out your images... and you do not use reference. How are you going to make a successful image if you don't plan it ahead of time. You should be doing thumbnails, value studies, color studies and compositional studies before you start painting the final image. How do you think book cover illustrators do it? They have to send the client at least 3 or more thumbnails to get approval on the final image. Trying to do everything from imagination is just spinning your wheels, you will never build up a visual library unless you study from reference. Non of the elements of your image will feel true because they are based on incomplete information. Using reference is not the same as copying nature or a photo, you are using it to study texture, lighting, color, mood, etc. Until you start doing these things, you will never be satisficed with your work.
Hey, @Antti Kallinen! I don’t know if you wanted or expected any kind of reply to your post, but I was moved by it and, if you allow me, I’d love to share some thoughts. I can see how you’re frustrated, and I’m sorry that you feel that way. I took a look at your Instagram profile and I think your work is actually pretty good! You’ve had your share of learning anatomy, you do plen-air painting, you’re also creating some original illustrations. You might be more on track than you think. What I get from your words, however, is that you probably want several different goals for your artwork, and these goals may be getting tangled up and clouding your perspective over your own journey. Here are some insights over things you’ve written: . “When will I learn to paint?” - From what I saw on your social media, you already know how to paint. Of course, learning is an endless path, so, if you want to keep learning and improving, or if you want to reach a specific proficiency level with your painting, there’s always room for it - but that doesn’t mean you currently don’t know how to paint. Framing this differently (for example, something like: “I’ve learned some painting and I want to learn more / keep improving”) could help empower you and boost your confidence. . “I can’t do the things I want” - What is it exactly that you want to do? What’s keeping you from actually doing it? What can you do right now to move you at least a bit closer to doing that? These are questions that can help you clarify this sentence into perhaps a more attainable and actionable objective. . “I really don’t know what to paint” - Right after you wrote this, you also wrote “I’d love to do fantasy”, so I actually think you know what to paint. But the practical problem of having to show/sell it online may be getting in the way. . “I’ll never be good enough to do, for example, book covers” - As far as I know, there’s not a minimum amount of “good” required for creating book covers. Illustration is a very diverse field, and it just takes a quick browse at the nearest book store for us to notice that the unaccountable number of artists who create book covers and book illustrations have all sorts of different artistic levels. Here’s one of your pieces which I, personally, can totally picture as a fantasy novel book cover: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cs6m6tEthgw/?hl=fi - at least, as far as my concept of “artistic quality” is concerned (although it’s important to highlight that the book illustration industry has other layers of complexity such as editorial demands, marketing, politics etc. Unfortunately, artistic quality is not always decisive for itself). . “I watched [*link*] and felt like all I’ve done before has been a toddler trying to emulate somethings he has no idea of” - Oh, man, comparing yourself with Frank Frazetta can be a trap. In fact, comparing ourselves with anyone other than our own selves can be an ingredient for artistic doom. I intimately know the feeling of: “Wow, look at this person’s work. Mine sucks!” - I know it well enough to be as aware as I possibly can to notice it without letting myself be swept away by it when it shows up. So this is what I’d recommend: remember that each artist has their own journey, and comparing yourself with anyone else (even with Frazetta) is unfair to your own life and accomplishments. If possible, let masters such as Frazetta amaze you and inspire you to do your own best, but try to not hold expectations or put pressure on your shoulders such as “my work SHOULD be like that, otherwise I’m not good”, or “if I can’t draw/paint just like THAT guy, it’s not worth it” etc. etc. As much as possible, value your own individuality. . “I’d love to create art that gives other people enjoyment/peace/emotions that I’ve had” - I get it, and this is actually a good specific goal you can aim for with your artwork: offering an emotional experience to your audience through which you can create connection with them. . “Create something I’m proud of” - Now, this sounds like a different (and slightly more nebulous) objective than the other one above. In order to do something you’re proud of, first, maybe try to understand what would actually make you proud. Is it being featured as the staff of a big name company? Is it getting individually famous? Is it earning money? Is it achieving a specific technical/artistic level? Is it having a social impact? Is it overcoming your own personal obstacles? “Being proud” is just the result of doing something that you consider to be meaningful in your life, so the real point is: what feels meaningful to you? . “Create something […] people will like” - And this is yet another different objective, a pretty tricky one in fact. We know it’s nearly impossible to please literally everyone, so who is “people”? What kind of group or niche exactly do you expect to engage with your work? And what kind of feedback do you expect from these people that could confirm that they actually like what you do: is it verbal compliments? A stronger reach on social media? More job requests? Featuring in art shows? Whatever it is, again, reframing a concern into a specific actionable objective could help. Just be careful not to place your own sense of artistic self-worth exclusively in the approval of others. Keep in mind that all these questions can be hard to think about, so you don't need to have every answer ready now. If you need to, allow yourself enough time to slowly figure things out as you keep working on your art. To sum up, I honestly don’t think this is the end of the road for you. As long as you don’t want it to be. I hope you know that things like age, financial situation and geographic location have nothing to do with being able to create good art. Maybe you are a bit burned out and really just need some rest, some venting, some time and space to let things be. Hope this makes sense to you. Feel free to let me know any thoughts or questions you might have. Stay well!
So i when will I learn to paint lol. Ive been doing this for a few years, most of it without studying. Then i started using proko, new master academy so on. Ive learned to draw, paint figures and something. But it feels like ive gone nowhere and cant do the things i want. Also i really dont know what to paint, id love to do fantasy but to sell/show that genre it would have to be online. I cant really stop doing art, but i feel like im wasting my time because ill never be good enough to do for example book covers. Id love to create art hat would give other people enjoyment/peace/emotions that ive had especially when i was younger and had Mtg cards or fantasy books. I dont know what im saying, im kinda burned out? Chasing after the skills needed, feeling like im an idiot, forgetting about what ive learned before. Just last week i watched https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqs7ye6KJ5Y and felt like all ive done before has been a toddler trying to emulate somethings he has no idea off. You can look at some of my work and studyin at my instagram https://www.instagram.com/anttikallinen/?hl=fi . Is this the end of the road for me, or will there be a time i can create something im proud of and people will like? Im not a youngster like most people learning art in proko or elsewehere, so yeah. I also live in a small industrial town, cant really move easily, never had a lot of money and not daredevil/desperate enough yet. I dont know, just wanted to vent my feelings ;).
Looks cool! I like the strong blue lighting you've got going on the creature's head--I would recommend continuing this level of light as it extends towards the arm muscles, the tree trunk, and the rocks, both to keep the consistency of the light source and to continue the composition as it leads downwards to the people. By this I mean extending the light further across the top plane surfaces rather than keeping it to a small rim light. I would also recommend adding a strong cast shadow for the creature across the tree trunk, for the same reasons as above, and darkening the background forest area underneath the trunk to be consistent with the area visible on top (behind the creature). Last thing would be to add some texture to the trees--you have a good bark texture already but it's consistent to the point where it can look flat. Try breaking it up with even larger grooves with strong shadows and breaking up the cylindrical shape into a more organic/asymmetrical silhouette. Showing the breaking point or roots of the tree as the creature moves it can be a good way to do this. Hope this helps and let me know if you have further questions :)
First sorry for the bad photo with glare and everything, this is a WIP so some spots are wet and others sunken in. This is something done without reference, im mainly interested in if you like it or not and after that technical aspects. During this painting i learned about composition and shapes and design but it was too late or cumbersome to incorporate what i learned.
So kinda beating a dead horse here, but i started some fantasy things again with goal to go in to book covers perhaps. Now the problem is, and has been before, that when drawing or painting a scene i have problems making characters without reference. I can do the pieces, ill just use references but its very distressing for me that i cant seem to imagine any characters doing anything lol. I know i dont have aphantasia because when reading im more in to the "seeing a film" type. Its probably mostly just lack of doing these kind of drawings, and ive been better before when i did them but what im asking is: Do you know any courses or types of structured studies to get better at drawing characters form imagination and preferably without much reference. I could just try to do them everyday or something but the problem is i am very ad/hd, especially now that i do mostly mental office work.
After completing Proko’s project on simplifying, I’ve been focused on mastering it before moving on, which has been difficult. I can see the light and shadows in the references, however, I struggle to simplify shapes. Any feedback and/or tips are greatly appreciated! Thank you.
Hey Antti, The problem you are having is that you didn't plan enough ahead. When doing a painting, illustration or what ever, you need to thumbnail out your idea to create the best compsition you can. for example: why are we looking down on the scene? is it to show the dragons weekness? to see more of the background? to see other smaller animalls around the dragon? do you know why you chose the down shot? Next: if you choose the down shot, did you plan the ground plane perspective? is it a one point, two point, or three point perspective? These are all questions you have to ask. I did a quick sketch to show you how I would have set up this scene. Notice I have a three point perspective grid set up. That way I kinow exactly how and where I am going to put my trees, and the size of the dragon so I can see the environment he is in. I hope this helps you in the future :)
The Hell is that paper lol. Anyways, they look cool. Can't really say anything else with this painting its so stylised. If you want you could go more like the photo in colors, yours are green, blue green when the pear is almost yellow. Try something else, more challenging with a goal in mind so it's easier to critize ?
So I've got this scene, and it's supposed to be of a dragon in an "clearing" inside the forest. I however can't imagine how the trees/background is supposed to look like. I wanted it to be in a shade with the light on the dragon/clearing. This is kinda reccuring problem with me, I'm gonna go look for photos/paintings to solve this but if you have solutions and suggestions it would be appreciated. Photo quality is bad because of glaring on wet oil.
I dont know anything about designing a character, but if you want to make a 4 armed humanoid torso i wouldnt spent too much time with anatomy. In reality it would have all the same parts that your arms have, so it would have another shouldergirdle, back muscles, penctoralis whatever. So I would either make the arms not "normal" or just make it look cool without too much tought in to anatomy. you could look for inspiration in animals/insects with multiple limbs. Also check characters like Goro from mortal kombat.
I need the proko skull or theres gonna be a new serial killer around..... Jokes aside, did this ink thing with sakura pigma pens. Now its not perfect but its my first pen and ink finished piece! So im happy with it and it was really fun.