Marco Bucci
Marco Bucci
Toronto, Canada
Marco Bucci began serious study of art when he was 19. He began with drawing fundamentals for 3 years before discovering a love for painting.
Marco Bucci
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doppio
How often are you posting? Haven't seen any new entries in a while :( and don't see a schedule
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Marco Bucci
Chapter 6 (the final chapter) is now almost done!
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Steffen Anzivino
Found @Marco Bucci because Stan did a quick video with him for Christmas. Started with a rendition of a Christmas song. Automatically liked him. I however had no interest in painting. After that video I thought it was something that perhaps I could do. Maybe I wasn't interested in painting because I was intimidated by it. Now, now I want to paint. I have gone through his 10-minutes to better painting. I won't ramble, but I am getting this course for fathers day. I am stoked. If you read this comment Mr. Bucci, thank you for being passionate and fun. Am I am glad that you make an outstanding effort to teach in a way that communicates what you want to say very well. I'm not sure if I am learning well, but when I watch your videos I really FEEL like I understand well. I was beside myself to discover you were going to be on proko offering a course. All in all, thank you.
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Marco Bucci
Thanks a lot, Steffen - super happy to hear you're enjoying the lessons :)
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bobstone
Hi Marco, what did you do to overcome the fear of failure when you were starting out? It’s like I don’t get to like anything I draw or paint. Thanks
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Marco Bucci
I never liked anything I did, either. I had to learn (the hard way) that your imagination is limited by your knowledge. You may feel like you have awesome ideas (and you probably do!) but they will always be filtered through your fundamental skills. If those skills are lacking, the image produced by your imagination gets watered down and ultimately does not reach the potential you'd envisioned. So: to overcome that, I just practiced my fundamentals in the life drawing room. I drew countless thousands of gestures, studied how to build on that with basic forms, and then how to distill all of that into simple, readable graphic shapes. The figure is helpful for this because it's a very complex thing, which means that learning it will make other things easier. From there I continued doing my own imagination art. Inevitably they'd still fail, BUT I was starting to see small improvements. That buoyed my spirits and I was just always very honest about where something failed, and then sought out exercises to shore up those deficiencies. In a few years I was able to create something that I could be happy with. I hope that helps!
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sn19
What kind of watercolour do you prefer the most?, any specific brand
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Marco Bucci
I'll take whatever I can get my hands on. I've got Winsor/Newton, Holbein, Daniel's, and more. These days I've been enjoying the Daler Rowney brand, which (admittedly) Strathmore sent to me as part of a promotion, but I really like it.
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Octavio Magno
Hello Marco, it's a pleasure to greet you. I'm an arts student and, curiously, I'm at a stage in my career where I find many obstacles to practice and develop my drawing skills due to schedules, homework, etc., which causes me a lot of frustration . I feel like I'm falling behind or even just plain stuck. I compare myself with many of my classmates, I see how they have progressed from the first semester until now and for me they have improved much more than me. Then I have many doubts about the path I should follow to dedicate the necessary attention and effort to practicing my technical skills on my own.   That's why I have some questions for you, which I hope are understandable and you can answer: *Have you ever had to leave the technical practice for a certain time, for whatever reason (school, research, paperwork, etc.) Or relearn a concept that you were taught and you could not review it at the time, which you had to return to later? If so, how was that process of going back to "step number 1" and starting from where you left off? What mentality did you take or you recommend one should have in these types of situations? *Do you think it's a bad idea to want to study different concepts such as color, human figure and perspective for example, or drawing AND painting, at the same time? Let's say, make a plan: "I'm going to practice my shading technique Monday through Friday morning and, on the weekend, I'm going to paint with acrylic or digital, for five hours…" Would I be wanting to cover too much? And in that case, what would you recommend me to prioritize? Thank you!
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Marco Bucci
Hi Octavio, thanks for the questions! This is a very personal situation you're sharing, and I'll do my best to contribute meaningfully. For your first question - I did have just that experience with anatomy! That's actually how I first discovered the Proko YouTube channel - I was searching for some anatomy lessons that I could start with, in terms of finding out what it is I didn't know. It never feels amazing to be a beginner at something, but honestly, I so enjoy the process of learning that it doesn't really bother me. I'm pretty generous with myself, in that I don't expect perfection fast. Or ever. I just want to improve one little step every day, even if that improvement is not noticeable yet to anybody but me. Just inch your way forward, that is the secret, I'm convinced! I don't know who said this, but some wise person once said that the key to improvement is to compare yourself to who you were yesterday, NOT who other people are today. The feelings indicated in the first part of your comment feels like it could benefit from that quote. Anyway, the good thing about art is that everything's related. When I went back to learn anatomy, I didn't really have to start at step 1. I knew how to draw gestures, and build solid forms. So when Proko taught me about the complexities of the forearm muscles, that information was new to me, but I was able to plug it into my existing skillset. So that's the thing I think you should do: make sure your most essential fundamentals are in place. This, to me, is gesture and form. Be able to capture gestures quickly (movement, pose, weight), and then build on that framework with simple 3D forms. You can then apply that to so much of art. Perspective is another one that you should really get down early (as it's very related to drawing 3D forms.) With those tools under your belt, you will never be back at Step 1 again! As for the second question-- I don't think it's BAD to want to do all those things, but you have to prioritize. If you are still gaining skills, choose the subject or area of study that's going to give you the most overall mileage. I think that's usually the figure, as the lessons you learn there will make virtually everything else easier. Then from there you can break down the various art processes and filter them into your study. So maybe on Monday and Tuesday you only use lines to construct forms. Then maybe on Wednesday you try and add tone to your drawings with just one dark value for all of the shadows. I would avoid lots of jumps from figures to landscapes to concept art to illustration, etc. It's great to do that over time, but what I think is best is to establish momentum on one thing (again, I recommend the figure) and really try to get some mileage in there. Maybe a few weeks' worth of study is in order. Then maybe ease yourself into adding landscapes to the mix. Eventually any and all art practice will just be branches of the fundamentals. But at first, you want to find a topic to "settle into," and let that be a primary outlet for your study. That's my opinion, anyway! Good luck with your journey :)
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Matthew Kuester
Hello Marco, I really enjoy your content here and wherever I can access it. I've been a traditional artist and teaching myself PS in the past year. In Lesson 5a you comment how Multiply mode is like working in watercolor. This was a huge epiphany for me in how to relate to when to consider switching to that mode. Modes are still clunky for me to know which to use, when to go up/down in value/color to make it work best, etc. Do you have any other suggestions of layer modes or digital tricks/settings in PS that you feel correlate to traditional techniques/mediums? Relating my traditional mindset to digital could always use pointers. Thank you! Excellent material as always.
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Marco Bucci
Thanks, Matthew! You know what, I think 'Multiply' mode is the only mode with an analog equivalent! Other modes are a little more "digitally algorithmic" with how they affect value and color. For example, if you're in "Screen" mode (a lightening mode), it will lighten your value and color, *toward* the color you have selected. So if you've got a medium yellow color, it will lighten your colors and also move them toward that yellow. Color dodge and Linear dodge are similar, just more aggressive versions of it. I suppose in traditional media this would be like lightening a dark color with, say, Cad Yellow Light, or something. But digital color mixtures don't always act the same as physical pigments, unfortunately. 'Multiply' mode is really the only one that acts almost the same as its traditional counterpart. There is definitely a bit of a gap to manage there, coming in from traditional! But honestly, as you can see in my class, most of the time I'm just in 'Normal' mode, painting opaquely on a layer. But I do vary my stylus pressure. Often times I use my trusty ol' round brush with "wet edges" activated (in Photoshop.) This makes the middle of the stroke translucent, and the edges opaque - also similar to how pigment acts in watercolor. I find that I can almost simulate a watercolor wash by getting a very large brush with those settings and pressing lightly on the tablet. Give that a try, too! The nice thing is, this being digital, you have the ability to either go lighter or darker with this 'wash' style of painting. Good luck with your navigating the medium switch! I do find it to be very instructive, using both.
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Charline B.R.
Hello :) I have a question about what "way" in color you would advise against when it comes to digital. I mean by that: at which point would you recommend people to try directly picking colors so they stretch their brain around it ? Opposed to too much use of filters and layers mith overlay, color dodge/addition and such to "generate" lighting/shadow, could that slow down people learning on the long term ? Or would this be a good combination, like use everything you can to get the final result then slowly trust yourself ? I find the use of filters/correction gradiant to be nice but "flat" in the end and limiting oneself expression. But direct color is very hard even with simple exercises like "use geometric forms and create a joy/sad/anguish mood picture"... Thank you
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Marco Bucci
Hi Charline! This is a complex question, and I'll try my best to shed some light on it. Instead of getting mired in blending modes vs color picking, simply try to understand what the color temperature is doing in your reference. Find a simple object outdoors (say, a squareish shed, or an easy-to-draw house), and look at it/photograph it during all times of day. Look at those pictures, and sample the colors. Paint your sampled colors with simple swatches, contained within LIGHT and SHADOW columns. Now study their relationships. You'll find that in the morning and evening light there is a severe difference in temperature, while in the afternoon it's more subdued and a more subtle palette. The nice thing about these "swatch studies" is that you can do them over a cup of coffee. There's literally no drawing or painting involved! But they're helpful because they get you thinking about the overall question of comparing colors. Warm vs cool. Then what you can try and do is recreate the photograph as a quick painting based on what you've learned. See if you can capture the feeling of evening light vs afternoon light by mimicking the temperature differences you see in your swatch studies. I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to picking colors with the color picker vs. using blending modes. I do both in my own work, depending on the effect I want. So long as you understand the relationships between the colors you're using, I don't think the way you tackle it matters so much. Hope this helps a bit!
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quizzy
Hi Marco, I have two questions - the first is, how do I use what I have learnt about brushwork in traditional painting in my digital work? For context, I use Krita, but I also have access to CSP, which I don't use as it's pretty complicated compared to Krita. The second one is, how do I get digital painting and traditional to benefit each other? I want to use one to help the other and vice versa to bridge the gap between them, but I always do either a lot of one or the other. Thank you for any time you spend on this.
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Marco Bucci
Traditional work has hugely influenced my digitals. Mostly because with traditional you get used to the idea of working within limitations. We don't have a million brushes to choose from, so you learn to do a lot with a little. That helps demystify and add focus to all the options that digital painting apps present. My best advice is find what strokes you like to make traditionally, then find brushes that come close to that in the computer. This is what led me to my love affair with Photoshop's smudge tool! It seems to act very close to how impasto oils act on canvas, or wet gouache or something. It blends colors and helps harmonize them, which is something I do all the time traditionally. Going the other way, certain layer modes digitally really helped me figure out color. For example, laying some sunlight into a painting with "Linear Dodge" mode really helped me understand how disparate local colors will get "bullied" by an overall sunlight color. I actually want to make a YouTube video about this! Then I could take that knowledge into traditional, and mix my colors with that effect in mind. For example, how does a blue local color look when warm sunlight hits it? Photoshop's linear dodge mode helps to see that (the blues get grayer) and then I can mix with that in mind, when working traditionally. I also love how "Overlay" mode looks, as well as "Soft Light" mode. I use them a lot in my digital work. 'Multiply' mode too, which basically mimics how watercolors work. I hope this helps!
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hevyprep
Gello Marco, I am currently at a struggle point with my art and myself. I wanted to ask you if you know any ways to overcome the "fear of using colour"? "As I draw composition a lot of ideas arise in terms of colour structure and effects on a traditional medium. but whenever I do paint I end up ruing the whole thing. It also feels like it takes away from the effort I put into the initial drawing." I was wondering if you could lend us some insight into this matter.
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Marco Bucci
Thanks for the question! The thing I think is most scary about color is you have SO many options with it. So my best advice is to limit those options. Try a simple complementary palette. That means you only have two hues to choose from (any 2 hues, so long as they're at opposite ends of the color wheel), and you can work within their ranges of gray to create a simple color harmony. This palette is a great intro to color because you basically can't screw it up: it's only 2 colors! You will also garner an appreciation for the power of grays when you use this palette, as that's where most of your colors will exist. My favourite complementary palette is yellow vs. purple. Yellow tends to capture sunlight well, and purple tends to capture the cooler shadows well. Obviously the sun isn't just yellow, but this is a good starting point to capture nature with. Another easy-to-use palette is the Analagous Palette. That's when you choose 3 or 4 neighboring hues on the color wheel and let your painting exist entire within that spectrum. Again, with so few hues to choose from, you're more likely to be creating color harmony and less likely to pick "wrong" colors. While limited palettes help ensure you don't screw up your color choices, you CAN, however, easily screw up your values and lighting. If you do that, no amount of color work will help. I haven't seen your work so I don't know for sure, but the difficulty you're describing sounds sneakily a little more like a value issue than color. I see this a lot in my students' work, too - that is, the thought that it's a color issue when really the values don't read. So make sure that you fully understand your picture's values first! This means clear light and shadow shapes, and then whatever subtle modeling you do with in those light/shadows, you make sure those values have clear shapes, too. If you are viewing your image in grayscale, that picture should read as strong 3D form. If you want to test this, simply paint an image of a sphere casting a shadow onto a table. That is very easy to draw/paint, so you're more likely to get it right. Then you can experiment all day with color options! So, back to the complementary palette. After you've tried that, then try adding a 3rd color. Usually this is called a "Split Complementary Palette" and it's where you take one of your compliments, and choose a color on either side of it. So orange splits off into yellow and red, and you still have the purple on the other side of the color wheel. Give that palette a shot! I don't mean to advertise here, but I just released a class that talks all about this stuff: 'The Color Survival Guide,' available right here on Proko.com!
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Mariusz Stefanowski
Hello Marco! Glad to hear about your AMA! Got a simple question - if you would have to choose 1 or few exercises to do every day that are most important for improvement (as far as generalization of all artists worldwide go) what would they be? If possible, split for beginners and advanced. Love your work and courses, hope to see even more!
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Marco Bucci
Hey Mariusz, good question! For beginners: Draw simple 3D forms (boxes, cylinders, pyramids, spheres, etc.) that feel like they exist in a cohesive 3D space on a 2D page. Sometimes you'll need a linear perspective grid to help visualize that space, but practice to get to a point where your brain just interprets the 2D page as a 3D world, and you can "reach into it" with your pencil. Then all you need to do is replace or combine those simple forms to make complex ones! For advanced artists: Challenge yourself with creating different compositions. Go outside and find a scene you like. Study it visually (no sketching.) Then go home, open up a digital canvas or your sketchbook, and jot down 5 different thumbnails that capture that scene in unique ways. Find how to emphasize certain elements and downplay others. Pictures are so malleable and there are a hundred different ways to flavor an idea with composition. Give it a try! All the best with your work,
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Stefano Ziffarelli
Hello Marco!  Here my questions (sorry for my english) : in a situation of warm light against cold light, are the shadows to be considered as if it were an overcast sky situation?  I mean, are the lights cold and the shadows warm? And, how do you handle the values ​​when using multiply mode?  If you stay in the middle, is it like you are at the bottom of the darkest point? are you of italian origins? Thanks for your teaching, color has always been my bully but thanks to you we are now making friends. Stefano
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Marco Bucci
Ciao Stefano! Yes, I am Italian, but I don't speak it. My parents (both immigrants) never taught me the language, as they wanted us to be fully immersed in English! I wish I spoke it, but alas. Anyway, I'm unfortunately not sure what you mean by "warm light against cold light." A general rule of thumb is to make the light source influence the temperature of the colors it hits. So if a cold light (eg. Overcast day) is hitting a white ball, that white will shift to a cooler hue. Then the shadow of that ball may NOT shift quite as dramatically to that cool hue, thereby making it feel warmer in comparison. Opposite for warm light. When I paint on multiply mode, I usually am picking very light colors, knowing that everything I do will darken my painting. It's very easy to crush your shadows too dark too soon, and I try to avoid that (unless that is the aesthetic of the picture itself.) I do like to lay in a solid shadow shape first, which will determine the separation of light vs shadow in my picture. Then I can use multiply mode to either add halftones to the light side (which is just a slightly darker version of the average light value) or some dark accents in the shadows. I'm happy my videos have been helping! Good luck with your work!
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tobyh
Hi, Marco! I really enjoy your light-hearted illustrations that alway manage to retain a controlled kind of chaos, it makes me feel nostalgic about my childhood!! Is there any specific thing/event/memory or person that has inspired, influenced, and/or helped shape what your current art style is today? Any specific movies, media, or otherwise anything else that comes to mind?
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Marco Bucci
Thank you, Tobyh - that is high praise indeed, as that is exactly what I want to capture in my art! I honestly don't think there is a specific memory/event/person that I draw upon. It's just the broad feeling of nostalgia and the innocence of being a kid. It informs the way I work, from the subject matter I tackle to the physical way I move my hand and create brush marks on the canvas. Other artists have inspired my aesthetics too, of course, and I've done so many studies over the years. Ultimately those studies lend insight as to what other artists prioritize, and allow me to then reflect on that and ultimately decide on where *I* want to put those things in priority. In terms of movies/media that directly inspired me to pursue this path: the MYST series was absolutely huge for me. Not sure I'd be an artist without them giving me an early jolt of heavy inspiration. RIVEN is my favorite game of all time, to this day. I think it's still fantastic, and holds up despite its technical limitations. Also Toy Story was huge for me, as were a lot of the mid-90s Disney movies.
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wanttobehappy
I am 22 with no prior real experience in art asides classes from high school electives. I have always loved making art and doodled in my notebooks in school and wanted to pursue a career as an illustrator. I stopped pursuing my passion because my parents said it was useless and wanted me to go into medicine. is it too late for me to become an illustrator/digital painter? And If it isn’t, what are the most important things I should learn for illustration and digital painting?
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Marco Bucci
It's not too late! I started at 19 - just a few years before where you're at now, and it worked out for me. As long as you have the interest to light the fire underneath you, I truly don't think age matters. Now, life comes with priorities, and maybe you will have to deal with filtering art into your existing schedule (assuming you're actively pursuing medicine?) That's totally fine. Learning anything - but especially art- takes time, and I think so long as you can devote even 20 minutes to drawing and painting most days, you will make progress. With art, it's the tortoise that wins the race: slow and steady. 22 is still very young (I'm almost 40 over here); imagine where you could be by the time you hit 30 if you devote 30 mins to your development every day! Practice your drawing fundamentals first. Be able to envision the 2D page as a 3D space. Linear perspective allows you to do that. Be able to work with or without a perspective grid. Be able to design 3D forms (simple forms, boxes, spheres, cylinders) on the page without even trying. Draw lots of gestures to understand the mechanics of motion and weight. Combine that with 3D form, to be able to build quick gestural foundations which you build upon to make physical objects. Then add light into the equation - using a single light source to illuminate parts of the form that face the light, and everything else is in shadow. All the while be aware that you're drawing on a 2D surface, so the 2D shapes you make are always of critical importance. This is a brief overview of the fundamental path I took to become professional. I hope it helps, and all the best with your journey!
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toasted_alien
Love everything you do marco! You have a very big influence on my work and my internal dialogue while painting. I have two questions for you 1) how do you go about developing color harmonies? 2) what are your thoughts on "trusting the creative process"?
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Marco Bucci
Hey - thanks for the question! For color harmonies, I start with a playground of grays. As you may know from my color-related videos, grays are what harmonize, because they are so close together on the color wheel. I build up my palette with the grays that take on the hues I want to eventually get more saturated with. So I may have some warm grays (yellows, reds, oranges) and some cooler grays (violets, blues) to start. Then I can pick and choose which hues I want to build to become more saturated. As color gets more saturated, its distance from other colors becomes greater. This is dangerous when you don't have a foundation of grays in place, so I tend to start with the grays as my preferred method of ensuring that harmony happens. As for the creative process, I've learned that it's impossible and unreasonable to ask myself to have all the answers to a visual problem at the start. I may have a general inkling of the initial direction to go in, but after that, I need to be open to finding unexpected pathways and problems and solutions while on the journey of creating the piece. Brad Bird once said about storytelling that if you can surprise yourself while you write, the audience will more than likely also feel that sense of surprise. I find the same to be true with creating a painting. All the best with your work!
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Marcos Vinícius Vieira Lustosa
hey marco my name is also marco but with a "s" at the end, well, i wanted to know more about your experience working on teams and how to deal with annoying teammates or annoying people at the industry in general. thx
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Marco Bucci
I've only ever had one or two experiences with annoying teammates (and hopefully I've never been one myself!) Honestly, I just remind myself that I value the overall vibe of the studio more than any one relationship within it - so if somebody annoys me, I'll just avoid them. If I have to work with them for whatever reason, I'll just try to keep it all business, and remind myself that I don't have to be friends with the person. In general working on teams is very fulfilling, because you get to see the result become so much greater than what you could have created by yourself! It's also a great learning opportunity when you have so many different specialized skills, possessed by different people around you. Ask them questions! I personally learned lots about 3D by talking to modelers and riggers. I now have some basic knowledge of those things that I actually do find use for in my own 2D work.
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Marcos Vinícius Vieira Lustosa
hey marco my name is also marco but with a "s" at the end well, do you have any tips to how show/expose your work? what to say and what not say in a interview, and what the people responsible for employment are going to be looking for in a concept artist? thx
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Marco Bucci
Thanks for all the questions, Marcos! Concept art jobs vary widely. Employers need artists who have shown a familiarity with the subject matter they're dealing in. If you draw robots well, you may be a candidate to get hired on a robot movie. Simple as that! But in general you should have bulletproof skill in perspective, form, shape design, and value. Those things, in concert, can generate endless amounts of good imagery, and can be applied to literally any subject matter.
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stefanpavel98
Hello Marco! If you could summarise most of the major art fundamentals in a few sentences what would that be? I find that me and many others just get caught into trying to learn a lot of complex things in art, which most just boil down to some simple ideas that we need to keep in mind, the rest just being extensions of those simple ideas!
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Marco Bucci
Good question. This is my list of important and major art fundamentals, in their simplest form: - Linear perspective - Simple 3D forms - 2D shape design (resulting from your understanding of 3D form) - Gesture drawing (capturing motion, weight, and flow) - Light and shadow shapes (this is how we get into rendering) - Edge variety (hard to soft to lost) - Color temperature (warm vs cool) - Composition (how all of the above elements get arranged into a readable, engaging picture.)
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