Paul Z
I switched from tradition to digital a year ago and I realized I have made literally no progress. I find the hardest brush to use to be the hard round. Its lines are uninteresting when it draw them. I have no idea how artists create so natural looking lines so easily. I know they sometimes draw over their lines for varying thickness and vary their lineweights. But I can't even replicate some of their linework after tedious copying. Some samples of what I like in lineart are below.
Paul Z
I've really tried to make photoshop work for doing lineart but it is always so laggy compared to other softwares. I have a 16gb ram and a 2.8 Ghz processor which I think should be enough? Even if I use a 14 px hard round on a 600 dpi canvas I will experience some lag. It really feels really bad to draw on. Any kind of setting that increases performance inside PS itself I have already tried. Preference settings, spacing, smoothing off, purge.
Paul Z
i did a study of the girl in the top right. I just cannot replicate the linework that goes effortlessly from thick to thin in an elegant way. Don't think this is just a skill issue. There are some lines I just can't copy. I've played around with brush settings but I just can't get it right. I am using a wacom one so the pen pressure is limited. I really don't know what i'm missing. using ps (edited)
Paul Z
I've been drawing for 5 years now and I feel like although my line accuracy has improved, the line quality is still quite the same. I can create elegant interesting lines just as they are. But if I'm drawing anatomy, I have to fall back to the same lines I usually make. Is it even possible to change your handwriting? I feel like the underlying characteristics never go away. I'm beginning to feel like drawing lines is the same thing.
Paul Z
I'm taking notes on Proko's entire course and I quickly got overwhelmed by how many insertions there are near the humerus. - Deltoid - Pecs - Coracobrachialis - Lats - Teres Major Are there any tips for how to simplify when drawing armpits?
Michelle
Paul, I agree with Rebecca, there are many types of contrast important to the look of your overall piece (as she mentioned like color temperature). So for example you may want to put cool colors next to warm ones to make them pop. From what I am seeing you are using mainly warm grays throughout the image- and using gray is fine however, transitioning from using a warm grey to a cooler one would help create contrast. So for example where you have the dark blackish brown color on the jacket, you may want to pick a blueish black there for more contrast. You also can consider the colors themselves on the color wheel - if you are using blues, opposite that is orange so again, using these together will create contrast. I would recommend checking out James Gurney's book Color and Light for learning about color theory, he is the master at color. Also, trying a few things while working to check your contrast, First, you can turn your image to greyscale - you may see that you have values ranging from 5-9 on the scale but nothing in the 1-3 area (check out the pic I uploaded for reference).Having that range will make your image pop! So maybe you need a few areas of that lighter value. Working with the scale next to your work is helpful practice sometimes. Next, if you are working digital as it appears from your picture, use your color picker/eye dropper to select different areas - is it all showing you picked different variations of a red or orange, but no blues? Then you are using different tones of the same colors and not varying much color. Last, are you working in CMYK or RGB? I ask this because CMYK is less vivid working in digital (I have attached some photos of this as well) so you may also feel there is a vibrance missing just from this color setting. I hope this helps, and I really enjoy your art!
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Paul Z
Thanks for the time dude. I generally understand the problem now. Just need to try to out alot to actually understand it.
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Paul Z
I knew my weakness was always color so I started creating some experimental abstract work. I don't know why but my work always end up slightly more depressing, gloomy, and dirty than I want it to be. I can't really pin-point why. Is it the saturation, the greys, or just the color scheme.
Liandro
Hey, @Paul Z! Looking at your drawings, I’d say you seem to be at a better place than what you’re giving yourself credit for. In my experience, the way I got to really understand anatomy a little bit more was not by copying, but by designing it. When I’d study from a model photo, I’d start with a simple gesture, then not copy what I saw, but instead build the body’s structure from the inside out: mark up the bony landmarks first; draw the forms of the bones; visualize origins and insertions of the main muscle groups on top of the bone layer; draw the forms of the muscles; and lastly give it some surface softening, clarify the lines or make a little polish up if needed. The reference was just a starting point and something to use as a base. Often times, my drawings would look different than the reference photos, and, many times, I wasn’t sure about some areas of the reference I was looking at either. But as long as I recognized the bigger picture (larger muscles, key bony landmarks) and was able to design a convincing figure on paper, that was fine to me because I wasn’t going for likeness or for being able to analyze the body on the surface - my point was to understand the broader anatomical structure in order to be able to invent it from memory later when I wanted. I’m attaching some of my studies from when I took Proko’s Anatomy course a few years ago; these are the finished studies after I got feedback on them using Proko’s old Facebook group (notes on top were from feedbacks people gave me or from watching the critique videos); they may look somewhat ”clean” after finished, but, in the middle of the process, I assure you each one of these drawings looked a lot like the last image you posted (except that I drew digitally, so I used layers to my advantage and organized the different sketch iterations so it would maybe become a bit less confusing). Over the years, of course our brain optimizes its hard disk space, so a lot of the anatomy I had learned has vanished my conscious mind, hehe - but I feel that the general skills and the overall notion of it stayed solid. Now, when I draw, I combine a more intuitive sense of construction plus the general bits I get to remember, and whenever I need more specific information, I do a little review of the videos, e-books or notes I took. One key thing is to have in mind what’s your goal with all this studying. In my case, I’m a cartoonist, so my goal studying anatomy was to learn the overall notions in order to give my stylized characters slightly more believable structures. For someone attempting to create realistic-looking art, even more in-depth studying and constant reviewing of anatomy topics over time might be needed. I think the best way to find how you’re progressing is to compare your current drawings with older ones - have you done this yet? Maybe you could gather your drawings from before you started the course and take a fresh look at them - this might give you a more sensible picture of how far you’ve come up to now. Two main suggestions for your studies, in case you might want to try them out: 1) Since you’re studying with Proko premium course, maybe you could prioritize studying from the examples provided in the course - that way, you’d get to see the video assignment answers and watch Stan draw the exact same pose you’d attempt.  2) If you use this community wisely, you can definitely get the privilege of someone critiquing every one of your drawings. Various artists and students have been contributing with one another around here lately, so, yes, feedback is something you definitely wouldn’t go without. Tag your posts as “help request” and someone should definitely comment something. Ultimately, for you to get the best out of your premium course, my advice would be to not just copy the 3D models (although of course this is helpful too), but, first, watch the video lessons and examples and take notes thoroughly if possible; and, second, take an attempt at the actual suggested assignments of each lesson and get feedback on your work here on the site. If you’re willing to really dedicate, also watch the video examples and critique videos and learn from other people’s missteps. :) Doubts and confusions may certainly show up along the path, but try as much as possible to be patient with yourself and allow space for the learning to sink in over some time of deliberate practice. Eventually, confusions from before start to become clearer. Hope this helps! Please let me know in case you have questions or would like to discuss anything else. Feel free to count on this community for help with your art whenever you feel like. Best of luck in your studies!
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Paul Z
Thanks for the help Liandro. Appreciate the time you spend commenting on this platform. I think you're right about learning to invent and not just copy. I will try posting frequently to get critiques.
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Marco Sordi
Paul, I'm just a novice and unfortunately I can't give u a professional critique. But I can say that I really like your lines and the proportions look very good to me. Now about your question... well I think I know what you mean and I understand your feelings because I feel the same any time I expect some feedback from an instructor or at least from a senior artist with more experience than me and nobody respond. This is the weakest point of this platform and his community. And I told Stan in a video chat we had some months ago when I was requested to be a beta tester. There is no structure here you can find in an Art School instead. I know. It's frustrating not to know if we are going in the right direction. But I can also say that if I compare my works now with what I could do a little more than a year ago when I joint Proko the first time (29 Nov. 2020), I can see a dramatic difference. I improved a lot. Thanks of course to my constant daily commitment. But also thanks to the contents that Stan and Proko's Staff provide. Video are funny, very easy to understand and based on years and years of teaching experience. I learnt about perspective and anatomy, colors theory, lights and shadows, composition, etc. In the end what I'm trying to say is that mastery takes years, decades. If we want to become good there's only one way, Practicing, studying, making mistakes, fixing them, repeating. And don't lose a chance to show your works to other people. Here and outside the community. And if you can take some lesson periodically in an atelier or some sort of art school (even course for amateurs) it would be great! Good luck!
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Paul Z
Thanks for responding. I agree with you points. Although I can't really blame anyone, continuous critiques from senior artists was included in my high expectations of proko. Although I have faith in myself to get better, I feel it is so inefficient if you don't get a thumbs up or critique from people. Lessons can only get me so far. To become as skilled as a pro artists, I need to interact with one constantly. Wish well on our grinds and hope that we are doing things right.
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Paul Z
I've been studying anatomy primarily using Proko's premium course, copying the 3D models of bones and muscles from different angles. I've definitely learned alot and gotten decent at copying them but whenever I draw from reference, all the knowledge gets jumbled and I can't see what's under the skin. I feel like I hit a road block where I have no idea if I'm doing anything right. Of course I can look at many different examples and compare against mine they usually don't correspond exactly with the pose I'm using. Of course I don't have the luxury of someone critique my every drawing but I just wonder how other people have overcome not knowing if they're doing anything right. My goal is being able to draw the figure accurately from any angle but there is just so much confusion. First 3 drawings are some of my best ones. 4th drawing is what usually happens. Critiques are very welcome.
Paul Z
I've been studying anatomy primarily using Proko's premium course, copying the 3D models of bones and muscles from different angles. I've definitely learned alot and gotten decent at copying them but whenever I draw from reference, all the knowledge gets jumbled and I can't see what's under the skin. I feel like I hit a road block where I have no idea if I'm doing anything right. Of course I can look at many different examples and compare against mine they usually don't correspond exactly with the pose I'm using. Of course I don't have the luxury of someone critique my every drawing but I just wonder how other people have overcome not knowing if they're doing anything right. My goal is being able to draw the figure accurately from any angle but there is just so much confusion. First 3 drawings are some of my best ones. 4th drawing is what usually happens. Critiques are very welcome.
Marco Sordi
2022/2/18. Good evening everybody. Here's my assignment for this section. Thanks.
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Paul Z
you are on the grind sir. keep it up.
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Liandro
Hey @Paul Z, welcome to the world of digital painting! I think your study looks pretty good! It would need polishes and some more refinements on the edges for a further development, but, as a practice on value and on getting used to your digital tools, I consider it quite successful - especially because it lead you to figure out a better way to set up your brush. Your question have multiple possible answers - there are several ways to work with halftones, and different artists may have differences preferences. For me, personally, for example: if I’m just sketching, I use a textured brush with a bit of pressure sensitivity (but with Flow jitter on, not Opacity jitter) and rely on the eyedropper tool a lot to mix the colors in a very rough way; and if I’m working on something I want to be more polished, I usually prefer to begin with opaque colors (no pressure sensitivity at all) and use separate layers to design each value area independently with hard edges, no texture, as if I was painting with vector shapes - then I paint over on a separate layer to polish the edges (and that’s when I work in the gradations and textures). This method makes it look choppy in the beginning and costs me a lot of time to complete the painting, but I find it to be what provides me the most control and flexibility over the result. But, of course, there are other ways! One common technique I’ve seen other artists use is to have just the basic hard round brush with some Flow jitter set to the pressure sensitivity, and paint in a slightly similar way to watercolors: from light to dark, in several “passes” to slowly make it look more opaque and defined. The key is to study and do some research to see what’s possible, and then experiment a lot in order to find what works best for you preferences and style. Please remember to be patient with yourself, as face this study and exploration mindset as a kind of play and as something for the long run, as a constant search for artistic growth. Besides value and halftones, also be mindful of the importance of edges - as you move on with your painting studies, eventually seek to study that too. As @Grace Mounce suggested, I can’t recommend enough that you take some time to check out CtrlPaint: https://www.ctrlpaint.com/library It’s one of the best digital painting learning resources I’ve seen online, and a lot of the content is free. It helped me so very much when I was starting with digital painting - a lot the techniques I still use, I learned them from it. The free library is already filled with helpful tutorials. And if you have a few dollars to invest, their paid series are also super helpful (if you get interested, I’d recommend starting with the “Basic Photoshop rendering” series). Once you feel like you have a basic grip and want to face new challenges, you might also like to check out the digital painting courses at http://www.schoolism.com. Hope this helps! Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. Happy studies!
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Paul Z
Thanks. resources and experimentation still needed. can't be lazy
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Paul Z
For the past two weeks I have been learning digital after drawing with graphite for about 3 years. I began to use brushes with full pressure sensitivity in order create values through opacity. I found my drawings to be blurry. So then I tried doing just midtones without pressure and it came out better. However, I find it looks choppy if you don't put hours into it. Should I use just midtones or maybe have a bit of pressure sensitivity. Or maybe it depends on the brush. I find textured brushes to be able to darken values if you go over it again and again. Also critiques are welcome.
Paul Z
I'm lazy and don't like to learn. But this is really good. I needed this. Concise, clear, and packed.
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cfineran
Decided to try it. I have a big question: I feel like I take a long time to try to figure out how to shade the forms. I get really really nervous and I don't know why. I haven't really done this before. Is it something that gets better with time? Edit: I added an updated piece cause I felt I overdid the gray using a conte stick.
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Paul Z
I don't know what exactly what you need to improve. I would first learn the science of how light and shadows work. Then draw a lot from life and learn from observation. The last step would be to shade from imagination. From your current drawing it is a bit unclear where the light source is coming from. Attached is my drawing from imagination. I am still learning too.
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Matt Haslett
These were quite a leap from mannequins. I had trouble with it at first, but after the first two, I think things started to click as the third one ins markedly better. Would love critiques, and as always, happy to critique yours.
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Marco Sordi
2021/11/3. Good morning everyone. Since the previous assignment took 2 hours I decided to use for this one a simpler approach. My intention was to finish in 20 min. more or less. After established the gesture and the general proportion a drew the core shadows. Then I added a very simple shadows just to see if and how they could effect the tridimensional forms. Thanks for any suggestions or advices.
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Paul Z
Just a common trend I see with your shading. I don't know if its just a stylistic choice but the human body is composed of mostly round organic forms. The core shadows your employ are often quite harsh and read as hard edges. Other than that I can't draw hands much better than you can so keep up the grind:)
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Paul Z
1yr
Can someone help me deconstruct how to draw this, which I assume is a circle that appears to be foreshortened or whatever and the edges start to distort. I cannot figure a way to do it.
Martin Dubček
Hi friends, i started a while ago, did a few hundred of 30 sec gesture poses. Here are some of them, please comment and critique. Thank you very much. Martin Dubcek/dubcido
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