Dan B
Dan B
Australia
I enjoy drawing little insects, particularly wasps. My favourite media are charcoal, pastel and graphite. Slowly getting into digital
Dan B
The Scott sisters (Harriet and Helena) for their amazing natural history art as pioneering women. And alive: Aaron Blaise. Just a great all-round person with enthusiasm for nature and art!
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Yiming Wu
Hi there Dan! Yeah I would think commenting on the album of each other can be a great thing... OR... let's just make every update into a community thread, just like twitter but more "threaded", like if you post a gallery image, it's automatically represented as a thread in the community. And then you can have various filters and so on. It makes implementation easy because it's basically the same type underneath. My own website (ChengduLittleA.com) is coded in that way and it's super simple and flexible. And actually I think the problem is not really about the platform feature. Recently I've realized more that artists are simply too different from one another. It's quite hard to get excited about another people's art if you just don't have the same feeling of this subject matter and so on. That's why deviant art has such a huge user base but you still struggle to only find a handful of artists whose work you really like. Another reason is maybe we don't like to be like on a mass platform? I mean artists are more likely to be somewhat "alternative". To have a defined way to gather those people is probably not preferred. Thus I think what could beneficial artists greatly is we could really have a web-ring or to put it in another way, a centralized index/directory, where artists write down or categorize their "type" with some demo images, and simply it links to their own website/blog/social. Better yet to make it a protocol where people can choose what they view and connect with, or maybe just a enhanced rss thing. This could be a new "source book" thing?
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Dan B
That's a good point, but I think it can be done differently here. Through the courses people can 'request help' and create new topics etc in the community section. While a general 'gallery browser' would probably be great (i.e. like ArtStation), I think the key is here you'll only get the stream of posts from people you already follow (perhaps with recommendation if Proko are working towards AI features?), so it should already be tailored to artists whose style you like. Where artstation is a portfolio 'show-off' site for aspiring artists (I see it as Flickr for artists), it entirely lacks the critique/guidance side that is Proko's strength, particularly if the instructors here are involved in the critiques and posting of works. You already can choose your interests here, which would help with the gallery filters. I know what you mean about getting excited by other people's art, but take me for instance, I'm quite focused on creatures and insects, but yet I follow a range of people because I like their style. This means I would probably appreciate their critiques and input even if the subject matter is diverse. I see Proko growing as a central learning platform for art. Sure, you can link off to Artstation, Instagram etc for your 'Portfolio display' or a blog for other content, but for artistic development Proko would become central. This is why I really hope to see the instructors get involved in the community as the features grow, as that would create the competitive advantage over things like Discord groups, etc. But hey, I'm old school in a way, I still think forums are the best forms of structured communication and sharing :/
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Dan B
Just wondering what thoughts are on what’s coming from the roadmap and where the community sees priority needs? I think a lot of people have dropped off the community section (?) but I’d like to see them back and see see it really thrive and grow here (aside the courses and challenges which are already great). My thoughts on what is missing at the moment: - to be notified when someone you follow posts work to their album, possibly by also setting up dedicated published vs WIP albums - Commenting on albums/personal walls - Sketchbooks/journals, for members to track their progress through the courses, general art progress and thoughts, again with notifications - a dedicated critique section (like the ‘ask for help’ checkbox but it’s allowed in community/personal wall posts) - News - particularly Proko site/course news, but also somewhere for members to post Art related news/content for discussion, like a bulletin board - Personal messages and/or group chat - Maybe a few sub-categories in the Community section, though I’m not sure how deep or wide to go depending on how active it is. Could even add tags or something to allow searching/pseudo-categorisation. Keep up the great work, the content here is fantastic and I look forward to the future developments and growth.
Christopher Beaven
Hi Dan B, Your post is full of universal challenges that all creators face throughout our lives and I would like to give you some super practical advice on how to get clarity on what you love so you can set meaningful and long lasting goals. Goals are the end of the process, the target we're shooting for, the place where the arrow stops. They tell us exactly where we want to go, but they're not the most potent fuel to get us there. They provide some motivation, but not enough to sustain us along the journey. The reason why goals don’t provide a lot of motivation is because the connection between effort today and a goal that takes years is tenuous at best. The wrong goals can kill your motivation also. Let's say your goal is to be a financially stable artist, like most of us here, there are many ways to get there but most of those paths we would hate because they don't align with what we're interested in. The path would be full of more rocks than smooth road. The key is to love the journey while making progress towards our goals. We can do this by cultivating, aligning and amplifying our curiosities into passion and eventually purpose. Time for the practical part. Let's start with your curiosities, you have a bunch. "I love insects, creatures, comics, robots, sci-fi, fantasy, cyberpunk, birds, dinosaurs, anti-heroes, landscapes, nature, video game characters/worlds and more." Here is a secret, you don't have to choose one. It's infinitely more motivating to pick several and play within the intersections between them. This is how we cultivate curiosities into the fire of purpose. "The point is that curiosity, by itself, is not enough to create true passion. There’s just not enough neurochemistry being produced for the motivation you require." ~ Steven Kotler, The Art of Impossible (amazing book if you want to dive into the neurochemistry on why this works) Stacking your curiosities is where it all starts and I'm writing from experience. I've done art every single day for almost 9 years straight (chrisbeaven.com). Only after getting clarity on my curiosities, finding the intersections and organizing my life around those intersections did I finally feel true passion. My production this past year has gone through the roof! Here is the first step I took to get there. Write down 25 things you're curious about. When I say curious I mean anything you would have fun doing and are willing to put effort into. Such as reading a book on the subject, researching, talking to experts, drawing daily, etc... You want to be detailed with each curiosity on the list. Insects, creatures, comics, etc... are too broad. For example you could clarify comics into. A dark cyberpunk fantasy crossover with a strong female protagonist with figures drawn similar to Barry Windsor-Smith and striking compositions like Sir Frank Brangwyn. "The specificity gives your brain’s pattern recognition system the raw materials it needs to make connections between ideas. The more detailed the information, the better." Says Steven Kotler who's done a couple decades of research on the science of this. Take your time with this list. It took me about two weeks to create all 25. At first it will seem easy but the last few will be difficult and any repeat curiosities will need to be merged. Put in the effort and do all 25, even if you feel that you've exhausted all that you're curious about. If you put in the effort I promise you will learn something about yourself. Lastly, the fun part, find the intersections and begin playing in those intersections. With this new found understanding of what you truly enjoy and what really fires you up you can begin setting goals. At the risk of leaving you wanting more details but not wanting this post to get too crazy long I'm going to leave it there for now. If what I've said resonated with you and you want to learn more I have a lot more practical tools that I’m happy to share with you. Either reply here or send me a personal email chris@createquest.net. Thanks for reading!
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Dan B
Thanks Christopher! Great insight and I’m about to have a go at the list. I’m not sure I’ll get to 25 but I think that’s ok because my main ones are quite clear and settled now where they really weren’t a year ago. It’s a fascinating journey doing art. I’d been thinking about how trying to do colour and more finished pieces demotivated me and I just kept sticking to ‘quick sketches’ all the time. Then recently I was playing around with digital brushes, found one that actually worked as my brain wanted and boom, I’m off painting more complete colour pieces! Weird how things can just click out of nowhere. Remotivated and moving forward again :). I still don’t have focused long term goals, but I realised that breaking through a barrier opens up those future goals where they were maybe ‘blocked’ before.
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Dan B
I used Sketchbook for a while (iPad), but it just never ‘clicked.’ Nothing was bad really, the brushes just never quite worked with what I was trying to do. I was really just sketching though, didn’t get far trying painting. Then I found Infinite Painter and that really works well. I just recently bought the full version as the value is definitely there for me (I particularly liked that they had a ‘Proko Brush’ which did a reasonable job replicating Stan’s soft lead with overhand grip, then sealed the deal finding the Wet Marker brush which is great to paint with). Haven’t tried Procreate, paying up front without trying it didn’t interest me and I prefer supporting a diversity of tools rather than just going with the most popular one blindly. I also use Krita, which has come a long way and is incredible as a free product. It’s a pity guides and demos on the net are almost universally Photoshop, thank goodness Marco Bucci’s recent course here also covers Krita :)
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Yiming Wu
Being able to draw/paint without worrying about living costs and stuff... I don't want to have an art *job* but if there's people want to pay for stuff I do then cool, just don't tell me what to do XD.
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Dan B
What if I tell you to do what you want? :p. Finding someone’s estranged rich relative to inherit a fortune from is plan B :)
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Dan B
To paint wasps, selling art pieces for silly amounts of money so I become an Entomologist. Unfortunately wasps are not generally a popular subject...
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Dan B
Is there an easy way to get a decent looking leaf texture of different varieties? I spent waaaaay too long on this one trying to get it looking like the Agapanthus leaf the photo was of, originally trying to capture the camera flash reflections, but then removing most of that, now it (particularly the right side) looks messy :/ Source photo (well one of the few I took there): Source photo: https://flickr.com/photos/192179891@N08/51803458040/in/dateposted/
Walking on a rainbow
Dan B
I don’t have extensive knowledge here, but I think this is one of those ‘it depends’ questions, as how you find paper can depend on how you use it and what your materials are. My advice is to just order a sheet or two of different types and see what works best for you. Some paper is really resilient to wearing from erasing but also difficult to erase in the first place, other paper will work better with heavier gauge leads, etc. I even recently tried out paper made from stone! Really takes the graphite well, is very smooth and only needs HB for strong lines… but I really need a light touch because of that, it’s a habit changer. It also smells slightly like a quarry… Cotton paper will wear well, Bristol is a good all-rounder, watercolour paper can be fun too. Sorry I’m probably not helping much :/
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Gabriel Barros
Day 01 - Rewatching Proko's Figure Drawing Fundamentals series, and doing timed gesture sessions. Looks like Croquis Cafe is now paid, what a bummer.(I mean, they should totally charge, their work is amazing, but I don't have the money right now). Anyone know a good alternative with timed sessions? Anyway, here are the photos of today's studies.
01 Jan 03
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Dan B
Adorkastock is pretty good with heaps of variety and timed poses.
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Gabriel Barros
Day 03 (Jan 5) Today I focused on the cubes, freehanding a bunch on paper, also practicing a little bit of shading (and sharpening pencil). Also, of course, a timed gesture session. Hope your art week is going well. :)
2022 01 05 Cubos 2
2022 01 05 Cubos
2022 01 05 Gesture 2
2022 01 05 Gesture
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Dan B
The first set of cubes have some issues with the perspective where the front corner becomes too long and they look stretched. The second page looks good :) Nice loose and dynamic lines in the gesture sketches!
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xun
hey can I see that art curriculm by modren day james I had it before in my old laptop but I lost it now
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Dan B
It’s by Alex Huneycutt, here’s the link to his latest version, which is on Gumroad. https://www.reddit.com/user/RadioRunner/comments/lgllqy/new_version_of_radiorunners_curriculum_for_the/
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Dan B
Hey Yiming! Good to see you here again, I just started again here recently with a bit of painting too. I think the second one here is my favourite, though they are all very unique in the story they tell. The way the characters are standing in the fourth one makes it appear the message is not for one of them (I.e. standing apart rather than embracing in any way), adds intrigue, like it’s a forgotten moment discovered. Minor critiques: The second pic could probably do with further reduced contrast on the distant buildings between lit and shaded sides to capture the atmospheric perspective. I feel the third pic could use a slightly warmer light on the front of the soldiers as the miniguns are throwing warm light. In the 5th one the guy in the dingy has a very long upper left arm…. Also are the numbers in water supposed to be on an object or under the water or just floating there? Hard to tell what it relates to. The fluorescent lights in the background also don’t seem to be reflecting off the water. Minor things though, only the long arm really stood out without a long look.
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Yiming Wu
Dang this is looking sharp! I think you actually got better gesture for the antennae and rear legs. It's kind of an awkward pose, because it kinda want to show force but the legs are kinda like a blob... I'm not sure how much of an artistic freedom for bugs anatomy, but if I were to do this maybe I could extrude the knee on the left leg a bit more so it's gonna be like a "s" shape, which may convey the force better.
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Dan B
Thanks! Yep one of the unfortunate things with bugs is all that dynamic muscle and flesh isn’t there, it’s all pretty rigid. This is painted from a photo I took, it can be quite difficult to get good insect references aside cool colours because they’re so rigid. I’d like to get into a bit of exaggeration with them eventually as they have some pretty cool anatomical characteristics within the different species.
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Dan B
Updated attempt incorporating feedback from Mårten and Smithies, I think I’ll call this one done now as I’m starting to lose track…. Hope this looks improved and more cohesive.
Genus Labium 3
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Mårten Borja
Hey. I actually like your use of color here but I am a sucker for a bit of muted colors, so I might be a bit biased, haha. I like your painting and was also drawn to specifically the wasp and the wings - they where really nicely handled! You made the wings very subtle yet destinguishable. I am not great at color myself since I've also avoided it for quite some time - so take my advice with a grain of salt; but I can also, as Smithies said sense that there are some values in the flowers that may not work with the rest as well as it could. It might be that your lights in the flowers are a bit too light (just a smidge) - especially the parts of light that are hitting the stems. I think it may make some of them look a bit unnatural Also, I know your reference-picture has quite the more vibrant colors and the lights on the stems are quite intense, but the darks and midtones there dont go as dark as in your image - so since you have made your whole image a bit darker and subdued in terms of value - the brights on the stems really stick out. I've attached an image highlighting the shadowshapes I'm seeing on the reference along with a comparison of the values on the reference (top swatches) and your image (bottom swatches). Maybe you can pull something from there? Seeing your adjustments - I still feel there are some troubles with the values in general around the flowers. It's as if you added a viginette to the lower part but I am not sure it helped unfortunatelly (sorry!). I'm rambling a bit.. So I tried to treat it as an exercise myself and I did a paintover to show you roughly what I'm thinking - It might look a bit muddied though. I tried to push the lights down on the stems which kind of makes them look a bit flatter in return - but since your background is very dark I think it's a bit inevitable to end up there without changing too many things. Ah yes, I added just a smidge of light to the wings aswell since I felt the tips could be a bit more accentuated (not sure if it was reallly needed though?). Again, not entirely sure if my changes were an improvement so hopefully someone with more experience can shime in and help you further :P
DanB values
DanB paintover
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Dan B
Thanks for the feedback! I see what you mean with the flowers, there's too much contrast in mine given the muted nature of the painting overall. I did kind of add a vignette to fade the flowers out a bit, but I'll rework it as it doesn't look like shadow like I thought it would... I'll play around with it some more to get a happy middle ground hopefully. Appreciate the detailed response :)
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Dan B
Cross-hatching is not something I'm well versed in, but I would suggest firstly using a single hatching direction and make sure it follows the planes of the face to give it shape, then cross-hatch the darker planes to add values. Check out Charles Dana Gibson for some inspiration: https://fineartamerica.com/art/drawings/charles+dana+gibson
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Dan B
Good work! The structure looks ok but I think it looks like you're shading is a bit uneven. Try to break the shadows down into large shadow shapes of consistent values, then add the detail. Are the darkest shadows in the right place? Look also at soft and hard edges. The side of her face in front of shadow could merge a little with the background and still look good, it doesn't need to be a hard line of separation. It looks like it might just be you drew the face contours first, in which case I'd suggest using a lighter lead so the lines don't dominate the drawing.
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Dan B
In terms of practice, as Malt mentions drawabox is great because it comes with structured lessons geared to beginners. At the same time, learn theory as much as you can as it'll fall into place as your skills improve. I think at first, learn theory around perspective and value, they'll help immensely later on once your fundamental skills are consistent and you want to branch out. Don't feel like you need to get it all right straight away, as a beginner it's almost impossible to consider line weight, perspective, form, proportion, angles, composition, energy, value etc just while trying to draw good lines! The Proko fundamentals course is great if you're looking into drawing people. If working digitally the CTRL-Paint course is also fantastic with a heap of free videos: https://www.ctrlpaint.com/library/ If you're looking to become an artist without an official degree/course, the following 'solo artist course' is useful for giving yourself some targeted practice and building blocks. Again, don't expect to draw like an expert first go, but come back to these lessons at times to see your improvement: https://www.reddit.com/user/RadioRunner/comments/lgllqy/new_version_of_radiorunners_curriculum_for_the/ It's a long, frustrating, fun journey, enjoy :)
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Smithies
Hello! I actually really like the colours you have used here! The drawing of the head is awesome and I love the way you have handled the wings. I think I find the flowers or the values a bit distracting but I can’t figure out which - like my eyes are wandering and I don’t know where to focus, but there is a lot of skill here so congrats :)
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Dan B
Thanks. I've made some small tweaks (just in Krita and not 'neat') with the colour intensity and making the flowers fade a bit at the edges. Does this look better?
Genus Labium 1
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