Birdy Le
Birdy Le
Black and white illustrator. Also a colorblind lefty with an interest in gloom and storytelling. I enjoy observational and figure drawing.
Birdy Le
I was super duper excited when this prompt dropped but proceeded to spend the past month being completely stuck with no ideas! It felt like my brain just shriveled up and died--but the recent video with Irshad Karim really helped me out of my art block! I don't have a working title yet, but it's supposed to be a sci-fi/occult horror movie about demons haunting someone through dreams, so our hero has to delve deep into their mind to fight them! My inspiration comes from a lifetime of being a vivid dreamer who grew up with many recurring nightmares that followed him well into adulthood, so I thought it would be nice to put those awful imaginings to use somehow. In hindsight, I should have used a much larger pen... the detail absolutely melts away at this size T^T
lifeasamovie
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Moonfey
Hi everyone! This movie is a fantasy version of my life and to explain the scene in the poster I first need to explain some things about me, it gets a bit long so you can skip the first few paragraphs if you want ;) I’ve always had a tendency to push all my feelings inside and that’s not really healthy and it took a long time to learn to let them out. In this fantasy version of me, the act of opening my heart up and letting my feelings out, is visualized by me letting my heart blossom open like a flower and there is meant to be a flower actually blossoming from the chest in the painting. I also often feel alone in the world, then in reality, it can sometimes be something that is just in my own head. So in this scene holding me up is a mythical, dryad like being, a tree spirit. The bottom half of it’s body will be like the trunk of a tree. It is meant to represent me actually being supported by my surroundings, or in this fantasy version, being supported by the powers of nature and mother earth. The scene shows what I sometimes feel like, not always, but is what I strive for, so I hope that is a good choice for a movie poster of my life? Some other fantasy metaphors in it is: Flowery petal like wings to fly high and rise above the hardships of life and also I like fairies ;) Sunrise to symbolize a new dawn and a new beginning. I realize the images attached are really sketchy, but does these concepts come through to you all? There is a colored thumbnail that shows how I envision the scene, the color scheme so far is the soft pastel color of a sunrise with darker browns and green in the forefront. If you want something to compare what I’m aiming to. It’s something maybe similar to the movie Maleficent. Well, the more idyllic parts of the movie then it comes to this poster anyway. What do you think of the colors and the composition? For example, the flowers on the lower left side do they help the composition or would it look better without them? Anatomy I’m having problems with anatomy. I have a clear idea of what the poses should look like in my mind, but I haven't been able to find any references picture like what. It’s hard because I’m not to used to working without a reference. I have tried taking some selfies of my own face and shoulders, and have been looking at different reference photos to get help with what different body parts would look like, and I have also been studying lifts in dancing and figure skating. But looking at to many references makes it confusing and hard to put it all together, it feels a bit awkward sometimes. I’ve added a bunch of sketches, there I have tried to get the poses to work but I feel that they don’t look quite right. So any help would be very much appreciated! For example: the arm of the dryad lifting me up, does it look best at a bent angle or then it’s straight up? Any and all critiques regarding the proportions of the bodies would be immensely appreciated! Another thing that concerns me is that I don’t really look like any of the partial references that I’ve found. I’m not as thin and am also taller. So I need to change the body shape a bit and that is also something I haven't done before and I’m finding it hard to do without losing the felling of the pose. So any advice on how to do this is also very appreciated! It won’t look exactly like me, most noticeably since I don’t have wings in real life ;) But overall how close to the real me, do you guy think it has to look in a fantasy kind of movie? I am planning to paint this in watercolors, though I am thinking about using techniques I haven't learned yet and since I usually work rather slowly I’m already afraid that I might have taken on more than I have the capacity to finish within the time limit. Maybe I need to simplify it down a bit somehow. Does anyone perhaps have any ideas about how best to do that? I’d really appreciate any critique or feedback about anything! Thank you, and I’m sorry this got so very much longer than I thought!
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Birdy Le
Hello! It sounds like a situation where trusting your gut may help more than anything here. If you think you're taking on more than you can handle--maybe scale it back a bit. It's good to take into consideration how fast you are comfortable with working as well as how much time you have to put into this. Incorporating new painting techniques that you aren't comfortable with while also working with anatomy that you're not comfortable with sounds like a lot to handle. My first suggestion would be to scale back on the challenges and try to make the work more comfortable for yourself. It's great to have a big vision, but it's also necessary to be pragmatic sometimes. If you choose to go with techniques you aren't comfortable with, practice them on a much smaller scale so that you can get better at them quickly. Don't jump headfirst into the final painting without any idea of what can go wrong, or you might be in for a bad time. When it comes to working on anatomy without an exact reference, the most important thing to know is how to simplify things into basic forms (boxes, cylinders, spheres, etc.). Pull references that are close to what you need, and simplify them so that you can manipulate them as necessary. Use cylinders for the limbs and boxes for the torso--a good understanding of perspective will help more than an anatomy lesson I think. And most importantly, do not fret the details! Focus on the forms! It can be easy to get lost in all the muscles of the body, and even easier to fall down a rabbit hole of endless anatomical references that won't serve you much good. As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid straight lines as much as possible--you want the figures to have a sense of springiness to bring life into them. When you're using simple shapes, push and pull them out of true so that they feel more organic and dynamic. Diagonal lines bring more action than vertical or horizontal lines (something to keep in mind when deciding on your dryad pose). Drawing a character out-of-balance will add more action to them as well. All in all, just getting to the finish line is the most important part of any project. Make sure you can finish before you start throwing in extra frills! The MoSCoW method might be helpful in deciding what you can handle. You can look it up for more info, but basically think about what you "Must have" for your project to be completed (i.e. the dryad and figure, their poses), "Should have" (a setting and any details to help tell the story), "Could have" (detailed anatomy), and "Won't have" (anything you determine you definitely don't have time to incorporate; new painting techniques that you haven't used before might fit here, but it's ultimately up to you).
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Birdy Le
As someone who is red-green colorblind, this has been the most helpful video I've found on how to paint skin tones. I've seen and tried several other techniques that didn't quite work with me because they often relied to just knowing (or being able to see) what colors to pick and applying them, without explaining the logic behind how to pick or build a color palette the way you did here. The graphic skull technique and the color vibration were the most helpful bits of information here. My paintings often end up muddy looking because I didn't know how to go about picking and mixing colors I couldn't see, but you've given me the confidence and knowledge I needed to continue practicing--thank you so so much for sharing this!
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