Natali Santini
Hi! Here is a portrait study of mine. I was focused on shading and edges mainly. I also tried being more gestural in the sketch. All critique, tips and helpful resources are appreciated. Thank you!
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David Sánchez
Hi, hope this can help. It seems like you do have a good understanding of form, but struggle to simplify it on the figure. Try to make it even simpler by representing the torso with just two boxes (robo bean like) and the limbs as cylinders. From there, you can create a smooth transition betwen hard and soft forms. It appears that the organic curves that the muscles create are distracting you from creating a solid form, so try to make the forms without too much distortion, the curves that proko does in his examples are subtler. Pretty much what's left is proportion, take your time to measure a little bit more your reference. About the question, I think the most important part of this exercise is understanding the perspective of the large masses of the body and how they correlate each other, rather than the perspective of the whole scene, that's some adavanced figure drawing exercise, but there are clues in some poses tha can give us clues for where to eyeball the horizon line. For example, when you have a model estanding over a set up or props, like boxes or a carpet, they can give you information about the hight of the horizon line. You can also stimate if a part of the body is estanding straight, for example; on the first pose, I deduce that the ribcage is in a neutral position, in addition to that, the head also looks like is not tilting, so now I have 2 forms that CAN be standing straight (they might not be exactly like that, but are close enough) so I track the vanishing points from the head (almost strainght) and the shoulders (from the closest to the farthest) and more or less when they align horizontaly, that's the horizon line. To internalize this whole process takes a lot of time and requires many drawing sessions just drawing forms in perdpective and rotate them. Sorry if ts was a log comment but I tried to be as clear as possible, have a nice day!
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Natali Santini
Thank you for your feedback! It has a lot of helpful information.
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Samuel Eli
I wouldn't worry about any conventional horizon lines or any vanishing points for that matter - if you are drawing from these sorts of references, and just working on the figures themselves (that is to say, you aren't drawing them as a part of bigger scene). The photos have the figures so close to the picture plane in deep space that any real convergence of any curved or straight line would be pretty minimal IF you are plotting a vanishing point. Plus, you would be tracking which contour and cross-contour lines are parallel and converging, and which are not. With an organic form, that's pretty hard and overkill imo. What could be useful is working on foreshortening. Which is just a form staying at the same distance from the picture plan, but changing orientation. https://youtu.be/R60e9_ofV68?t=600 This whole video is great, but Marshal Vandruff show's what I'm talking about here pretty nicely and concisely.
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Natali Santini
Thank you for your feedback. I'll focus on foreshortening now more. I just have a question - how does the distance of the picture plane from the subject (building, a person, an object, etc.) affect the distortion and everything? And the distance of the viewer from the picture plane? I know that the closer we get to something, the closer the VPS get to one another. How does the distance from the picture plane tie into this? Thank you once more.
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Kensei Tron
I am noticing a common habit of yours, you are drawing the heads way too small. I run into this problem myself when drawing gestures since I don't have much information with just a circle. I would put in a bit more information of the head first with the mass of the hair to have something to judge other relationships based on. Also, when asking for critiques check the mark for "Help Request" or people will have to go directly to your topic and cannot reply on the main post.
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Natali Santini
Thank you for your feedback. Yes, the head-size problem is something I struggle with. I always do it with just a circle and then do the rest of the body gradually. So I'll try developing the head fully first and then doing the rest of the pose. And thank you for telling me about the help-request mark, I had no idea this is what it's for.
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Natali Santini
Hi, so I got to mannequinization and I am looking for critique regarding these studies. Also, do you have any tips on finding the horizon line in poses where the body parts are tilting a lot? Thank you for your feedback!
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Natali Santini
Here are some more robo beans. Should I move to mannequinization now?
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Natali Santini
Hi! My name is Natali Santini and my goal is to get into book illustration, specifically children's books. I am still learning the fundamentals and I am working on improving them. My questions: What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? What should I focus on? My IG:https://www.instagram.com/natalisantini/ My website: https://natalisantini.wixsite.com/artist Thank you for your time! I will be very happy to hear your advice and critique.
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Super Fly Flyn
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Natali Santini
Hi, I am back with more robo beans. I'm sometimes having trouble with finding certain landmarks on the body, especially ASIS and PSIS. I highlighted spots on the references, where I thought the landmarks are. Have I found them correctly? If not, can you show me where they are? Also, still fighting with proportion, some ribcages are either too thin or too thick I think. Thank you for your feedback!
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Joakim lof
Nice work on these robo beans. The bottom one in the 2nd picture is the strongest one in my opinion and it also has the best stroke width variation, and it looks overall very fluid :) I have a few things I'd like to critique, and I have included some examples where I added red lines for reference. It's up to you whether you think it's helpful or not :) 1. The first bean in the second picture looks nice, but the way you've connected the pelvis and the ribcage made it a bit confusing, and when I first looked at it, I thought the the larger plane of your ribcage was meant to be the side, not the back. I've included an example of which lines I'm talking about. Also, I think we might be seeing a little too much of the top plane of the pelvis. 2. The 2nd drawing in the first picture, I can tell you've tried to exaggerate the twisting, which is good in my opinion, but I think it might be exaggerated a bit too much. In the original pose I think we're actually seeing the side surface of the ribcage on the opposite side of where you've drawn it and I think that might be a pretty long way to twist to the point where we see as much of the other side as you've drawn it. Either way, I am just pointing that out and adding a example. 3. In the first drawing of the 3rd picture, you have tilted the ribcage down a lot and straightened the foreshortening, and, I also feel like you might've distorted the box of the ribcage a little to much in it. This may be an intentional exaggeration, and I think that's alright, but either way, I feel that part of the exercise is also working with landmarks to find the placement of the pelvis and ribcage underneath everything, even though making them a bit bendy and lively is nice. Also remember that the arms and shoulders can move a bit independantly from the ribcage. Either way, It is a difficult pose to figure out, and I'm not completely sure I did it correctly either, but hopefully the example is clear enough to be helpful. Hopefully this feedback helps :)
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Natali Santini
Thank you for your feedback! I will be cautious about these mistakes and I'll be reminding myself of them in each study I do.
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Natali Santini
2mo
Hi, I'm looking for critique on these robo beans. Thank you!
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Kristian Nee
Hey Natali, this is a really nice drawing. You're definitely getting the idea of how to use the planes successfully. You've made a correct drawing that I wouldn't change that much. That being said, that doesn't mean it's a beautiful piece of art. When I was studying at the Watts Atelier, @Erik Gist described the three stages of training to me. 1. Complete beginner, learning the ropes. 2. The generic phase 3. The artist phase This to me seems like a really solid generic drawing. You've exaggerated the cheeks too much, and made the bridge of his nose too wide which kills the likeness but I'm not sure fixing those would make this a better piece of art. The advice I would give, and feel free to not listen to this, is to start trying to play with your drawings. You're definitely good enough to do some bad ass drawings, but thinking in this way hurts the atheistic potential. Hope this helps!
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Natali Santini
Hi Kristian, thank you for your advice! I feel like I needed to hear this.
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Joakim lof
I really like the movement in these drawings and the dynamic strokes. Keep it up :) As for feedback: I agree with @Vincentius Sesarius but another thing (you probably heard it before) that can be helpful is to look at your work in a mirror or flip it digitally. Even if you measure the balance of a pose and do everything right (like Proko mentions in his balance video) the drawing and its forms can still appear imbalanced. I find that flipping the drawing is a good way to spot those imbalances. Hope that helps :)
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Natali Santini
Thank you for the tip!
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Vincentius Sesarius
As far as I can see, you've done a good job on landmarks. Is there any particular landmark that you have difficulty with? Broadly speaking, there's only a few landmarks on body that's worth memorizing: 1) shoulder bones, 2) knee bones (knee caps), 3) base of the back of neck (C7 vertebrae, 4) the wings of scapula, 5) clavicles, 6) ASIS and PSIS, 7) the head of femur (greater trochanter of femur, that bulging spot by the side of our hips). As for balance, there's two categories in figure poses, dynamic and static. Dynamic pose is a freeze capture of a candid movement, like a picture of someone in the middle of running. It's a bit more complicated to find the balance in these poses, because, well, there's no balance in dynamic poses: if we'd try to stop in the middle of a running stride, we'd fall. On the other hand, static poses are more predictable when it comes to finding their balance. If you try to draw a perpendicular line from the middle point of the torso to the ground, the point should never cross over the ball of the foot. A good example for this is on the first image that you attached: if you notice, in your drawing, the middle point of the torso crosses the ball of her right foot. While on the reference, it doesn't.
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Natali Santini
Thank you for the feedback. I have a difficulty with seeing the shoulder bones. But I guess I will improve at it with practice and time. And thank you for the info about balance - now I know what to watch out for.
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Natali Santini
added a new topic
Landmarks
2mo
I just started learning landmarks and I am looking for critique. Also, do you have any tips or exercises for improving balance? My figures always tilt too much to one side. Thank you!
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Natali Santini
Hey, here is a study of the planes of the head from Asaro head. What can I improve? Thank you!
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Leon ter Molen
There is already great feedback, so just coming by to say that your drawings look great, and keep at it!! :) @Natali Santini
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Natali Santini
Thank you!
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Vincentius Sesarius
1. The apple doesn't create shadow of the cup next to it. The shadow is created by the cup itself. But yes, you're correct that by the rim of the bottom edge of the cup, there's an ambient occlusion (or occlusion shadow), because ambient occlusion usually occurs on the rim of things. 2. You're correct that there's two light sources in that scene: one from the front right, and the other from the right. That's why you see two sets of cast shadows. 3. You're correct that the horizon line is on the top rim of the upper cup. 4. Defining highlight on a mirror or other reflected surfaces is kind of harder than defining highlights on the actual surface, because it follows a different set of logics. It's possible to do so, but I will say to stick to the reference for this one. 5. Indeed, tha value transition happens because when things are further away from the light source, they become darker. However, it doesn't only happen to big planes though. If you put another apple on the farther side of the scene, that apple will be darker than the apple that is closer to the light source. 6. Yes, as i've said in point number 2. 7. Technically, they're great rendering. However, artistically, you can try to blur the edges of the things that is adjacent to the shadows. As of right now, it seems to me that the edge is all sharp. This overall sharpness creates more of technical feel to the drawing. By blurring some of the edges, you'll create a more of artistic drawing, because our eyes naturally perceive edges differently than that is of a camera. Our eyes blur things that are in shadows or that are not in the focus.
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Natali Santini
Thank you for your feedback. I'll pay more attention to the edges in my next studies.
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John Nahashon
Hi Natali, I'll do my best to help. Your rendering is impressive and according to me, you are on the right track. My Answers: 1) I understand that the theory behind occlusion shadows is that they are areas where light is almost completely (if not completely) prevented from reaching. If you are referring to the area with the blue rectangle, I wouldn't consider it an occlusion shadow. Occlusion shadows normally exist close to areas where two surfaces meet. For example, the area where the apple meets the table (OS), or where the white tallest box meets the table (the areas pointed by my pink/red lines - OS). If you check them out, you'll notice that they are nearly (if not completely) black. 2) I think you generally got the direction of the light source correct. I bet most would agree that if you hadn't brought it up, few (if any) would complain about that aspect of your artwork. According to the shadows, there does seem to be various light sources but from essentially the same direction - perhaps windows. You did the right thing the way you resolved it. You don't have to copy your reference exactly. Allowing yourself some artistic license to only capture the big picture is acceptable. 3) To identify the horizon line, I look for top planes and bottom planes (purple/ magenta boxes). If you can see the top plane of an object (even a bit), the horizon is above it. If you can see the bottom plane of an object (even a little), the horizon is below it. If you can't see either the top or bottom plane of an object, the horizon is somewhere between the top plane and the bottom plane. Since we can see the top plane of the tallest box it means the horizon is above it. But we can't see the top plane of the cup; therefore, the horizon is either at the same level as its top plane or below it. Conclusion - the horizon is somewhere between the top of the tallest box and the top of the cup (green box zone). 4) Reflective surfaces tend to get more reflective the further away they get from us. This is true for surfaces that are reflective but not mirrors or chrome (these tend to reflect everything as is). To understand reflectivity, you'll have to investigate further about the angle of incidence. The best I can give for now is that the area closest to the viewer is less reflective compared to the area further, like where the "cup" is. I recommend Scott Robertson's book "How To Render - the fundamentals of light, shadow, and reflectivity". You'll find all your answers and more in great detail and examples. 5) The value transition on the board in the background is the result of various elements - all available in its immediate surrounding. The source of light is a factor. The surface the objects are on is a factor. The objects themselves are a factor. Any other object in the environment that can reflect light is a factor. The interaction of light and all the elements in the environment impact their ultimate value. Also, the angle of incidence comes into play here. 6) You already brought this up earlier, and I think it is possible that there are various sources of light but generally from the same direction-ish. 7) As I indicated in the beginning, I believe you are on the right track. I'm not yet the expert I intend to be, but I can't say much against your artwork. One area I feel you may want to be more careful about is proportion. I don't know whether you did it intentionally but if you compare your work to the reference image, you'll notice that the relationship between the shorter box (the one with the cup on top) and the container in front (next to the apple) is not the same. In the reference, the shorter box seems taller than the container in front. In your work, this relationship is reversed - your container is depicted taller than the shorter box. Unless you did it intentionally, you may want to watch out for that. The last area according to me that I think you may improve on is reflected light. Your artwork has captured light and shadow areas quite well, but apart from the container in front (next to the apple), I don't notice much depiction of reflected light. I have noticed that most of your questions are about light, shadows, and reflectivity. Here are a few resources I believe will help: > How to Render - the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity by Scott Robertson and Thomas Bertling (Book) > Ambient Occlusion - and Ambient Light for Painters (free YouTube video by Marco Bucci) > Mind-Blowing Realistic Shading Tricks (free YouTube video by Dorian Iten) > Fix Your Shading Mistakes - Egg Challenge Critiques (free YouTube video by Dorian Iten) I hope that helps and I wish you only the best
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Natali Santini
Thank you for all the advice, explanation and the recommended resources. The proportion errors weren't in fact intentional. Thank you for pointing them out.
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Tim Dosé
It's awesome you posted so many detailed, thoughtful questions! I don't think you need to apologize 🙂 I'll do my best to answer in detail in response: 1) I'm not sure which spot you're talking about. Can you post a picture with it indicated? Also, I'm not sure if you don't understand occlusion shadows in general, or if there's a specific area that you're not sure if it's an occlusion shadow. In general, reflectivity makes shadows less obvious—so a lot of occlusion shadows (and shadows in general) are more subtle in this photo. 2) (this also answers question 6) The lighting here is fairly complicated. From what I can tell there are 2 main light sources. You can see both of them on the apple—remember, highlights are really just reflections of the light sources. One of the light sources is really clearly seen in the yellow container in the front—it's a window that looks to be fairly large. It also looks like it's reflecting in a table—presumably the one the still life is set up on. So we can guess that that light source is largely frontal, but going up fairly high above the still life. It's a bit to side, but relatively close to straight on. We can tell that by its horizontal position on the yellow container. And we can know that a large window like that will produce a very diffuse light source. We don't have as much info about the second main light source since we don't have a clear reflection of it. But since it's presenting similarly in the apple in terms of size and softness, we can guess it's also a large, diffuse light source. Possibly another window above the one visible in the yellow container. I see hints of it in the curved top edge of the teacup, and I *think* that's what's reflected in the reflection of the yellow container. So, with two diffuse light sources you're going to have a few things in play. It's hard to glean from a photo, but there are likely some weird perspective things happening as objects cast shadows on vertical planes that have different tilts relative to the light source. Also, shadows from diffuse light sources get softer (more diffuse) the further they get away from the casting object. That may be doing some weird things as well. 3) That looks to be the case, although it's possibly a tiny bit below. I can see a *tiny bit* of an upward curve on the top of that cup. Also—the photo appears to be slightly tilted. I would expect the horizon line to be perfectly level. 4) Reflections within reflections do some unintuitive things (remember that highlights are really just bright reflections). As mentioned above, I *think* that's a reflection of the other light source we see in the apple. But its orientation is flopped vertically since we're seeing it in the reflection of the table. This is another thing that's hard to really wrap your head around with a photo. You'd probably be able to tell easily if you were there in person what's going on. With reflections in person, you can just move around a bit to understand, or wave your hand between things. With a photo, you're stuck guessing about reflections a lot. 5) Yes, it's because the cardboard is getting further from the light source. This effect happens with light sources that are relatively close. You wouldn't see this with a light source that's extremely far away and bright enough to still light the objects, like the sun. For smaller, closer lights, the strength of the light gets weaker the further away from the source it gets. It's called the falloff of the light. And in a lot of cases it happens faster than we expect. 6) See answers to #2 above 7) First off, keep working hard like you've clearly been doing, and asking tons of great questions. That's one of the best things you can do. Here are some other suggestions: - Work from life. The ability to interact with and inspect the scene lets you answer so many more questions than a photo. - Learn about edges and how to control them in whatever medium you're using—both the hardness/softness, but also just the drawing to clarify where things overlap. Spending time nailing the edges can make such a huge difference. For example—the edges on the left side of the teacup get kind of sloppy, especially where it overlaps the box it's sitting on. Make a clear decision where things start and end, and then make a clear decision how hard or soft its edge is, and how the softness changes along the edge. - Watch out for overstating the value of reflected light. A lot of reflected light is going onto glossy/reflective objects so it doesn't appear like the reflected light we see in diagrams. But it's all reflected light, and has lost some energy after bouncing off other objects. It loses more energy bouncing off matte objects than reflective objects. - I've found playing around with 3D software to answer tons of questions about light for me. But of course that's not for everyone, and it's time away from doing artwork. So might not be for everyone. But Blender is free, and its Cycles renderer is physically accurate (or at least enough for our needs as artists). I find it particularly useful as a teaching/learning aid. Hope this helps! Feel free to ask more questions—my favorite thing in life is teaching this kind of stuff to people who want to know it.
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Natali Santini
Thank you for your answers and advice! I am taking notes and I'm gonna apply all of this in my next studies. I drew around the area I was talking about with the occlusion shadow. I do have one more question. Is there always a terminator? Or is it just a matter of subtlety? Thank you so much!
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Natali Santini
Hi! Here is a shaded still life I drew and I have a lot of questions regarding it. The process: I first drew a composition, to get the proportions and relationships right. Then I found the horizion line and drew the objects in perspective. I established the midtones and put a lighter value in the background at first to not blow all of it off. Then I found the direction of the light and according to that I drew the shadows. Then I found the terminators, reflected light and occlusion areas. Then I painted the light areas and finally, the highlights. Questions: 1) Where the apple creates sort of a "darker spot" in the shadows of the cup next to it, is that an occlusion shadow? 2) Did I understand the direction of the light source? It seemed strange to me why it appears to be coming from different directions when I look at all the cast shadows. (I drew red lines into the reference to show what I mean). 3) Is the horizon line at the top of the upper cup? 4) The highlight in the reflection of the table is positioned as if we were looking at the cup from down below? Or how does the highlight work when it comes to reflections like mirrors etc. 5) What causes the value transition on the board in the background? Is it because when a plane is big enough, it gets darker as it moves further away from the light source? 6) Are there 2 light sources? The cast shadows indicate that there might? I realized that just after finishing the study. 7) And overall, am I doing this right? What can I improve? How? I apologize for this being so long but I want to make sure I really understand what I see. I will be very thankful for any answers and feedback. Thank you!
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