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Ilenora
02-04-2010, 01:18 AM
Hello there, and welcome to my Sketchbook :) Here I will be displaying various sketches, practise art, designs, concepts, etc. My updating will be sporadic, depending on what other projects I work on at the time. For now I will mostly be uploading style sketches - images that are done to try and get a certain unique style to my art.

I have been doing digital art since 2003 - up until mid 2006 this was all 3D art. Since 2006 I have been doing progressively more painted art.
Until just recently I've been jumping between different styles and techniques, ranging from attempts at photo realism, stylised realism and cartoony looks and plenty of different ways of painting it. I've finally decided to get a unique style and way of painting that is unique and one that I will be pleased with. I've only a faint idea of this style at the moment, so I will be doing various character portraits to see if the style is one I will enjoy.

Critique and comments on these pieces is very much encouraged - I would love to hear what you think and what I could improve! Further details will be given for the individual images :)

Regards
Ilenora

Ilenora
02-04-2010, 02:10 AM
Hi, here are a couple of sketches to start off.

http://www.serpentinemoon.com/eternitydreams/draylen-sketch.jpg

This first one is what I'm currently aiming for in style. My main inspiration is the style of characters in the movie, Arthur and the Invisibles. I used a screenshot of Arthur as reference and made it my character, Draylen. I combined the 'cute' look of the movie characters with my own take on a stylised look. I'm fairly pleased with it, though he looks too young, so I need to find a way to make him appear older (he's supposed to be about 18).
I first drew the lineart in black with a small hard brush, with opacity and size on pen pressure. I then did rough shading using a low opacity large brush and built up layers of a few different colours for shadows and highlights until his skin looked coloured enough. I smudged away the brush strokes to give it a smoother, softer look. I then brushed over the lines with appropriate colours. All up it probably took an hour.

Let me know what you think! What could I do to improve the style? What do you think of the shading and the lines? Should I go for a more realistic look? Thoughts are very welcomed.
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http://www.serpentinemoon.com/eternitydreams/Helena-sketch.jpg

Here is a slightly older sketch I did as a test, featuring my character Helena, a clock maker. The face style is a simple one similar to what I've been using for a comic I started (I have set that aside until I work out a definite style, though). The rest of it is very rough, with thick lines and very quick shading. This look for the person is a lot more realistic and not so cartoony or cute.

Please give me your thoughts on these two images!


Thanks
Ilenora

Ilenora
02-11-2010, 01:09 AM
Hey, another sketch here... I'm still deciding on how to shade it. Once again I would love to hear any comments!

http://www.serpentinemoon.com/eternitydreams/testsketch1.jpg

NR43
02-13-2010, 04:33 PM
hi
Some quick advice that should keep you busy for a while:
Practice anatomy, learn about values and their relation to form, then learn about color.

Also, do not worry about style. Style is just a limitation. A good painter can paint in any style.
But if your anatomy, your values and your colors are bad, your art will be bad, no matter what style you've applied. Don't let me discourage you ;)
Challenge yourself!

Ilenora
02-13-2010, 11:56 PM
Practice anatomy, learn about values and their relation to form, then learn about color.

Also, do not worry about style. Style is just a limitation. A good painter can paint in any style.
But if your anatomy, your values and your colors are bad, your art will be bad, no matter what style you've applied.

Thanks very much for the tip :)
I need to (and will) practice those things. But I do feel that style is very important, and yes, though a good painter can paint in any style I think it's important to have something recognisable about your art. All of the artists I admire have distinct styles that are instantly recognisable, as do a lot of good artists. It may be the way they draw faces, or their certain way of painting or shading the image, but there is always something that marks it as their style.
So far I have jumped between so many different kinds of painting, whether it be the way I go about drawing the figure or how I shade it, and I have to say I'm not very pleased that there is nothing that would make a person go 'Hey, Ilenora drew that!' as all my images look so different. I don't think that a good thing at all :P

But I do appreciate your comment, and I definitely will take some time to practice those things. A question though, how do you suggest I go about learning anatomy, values and colour? Are there any particular ways of practising these things, apart from just drawing pictures and concentrating on one of the subjects? How do I know if my values or colours are 'bad' or when they are 'good'? I know how to spot anatomy mistakes quite easily. For example, the clock maker sketch I did has a messed up arm, I've always found that arms are quite difficult :P

Thanks!
Ilenora

NR43
02-14-2010, 08:39 AM
The best wsay would be to follow some drawing program in a school or academy.
Lack of structure in a learning process is one of the main reasons for slowing down this learning process. The other main reason is lack of patience. It takes years to learn to draw and paint properly. Most wellknown artists will say something like 10.000 hours of practice or 10 years, etc.

Here's how I got into it:

Year 1:


perspective (2-3 months),
contour (1 month to 6 weeks),
form (light and shadow, as in values) for the rest of the year, practiced on plastercasts of heads.
Year 2:

Anatomy: bones (2months or so)
Anatomy: muscles (another 2 months or so)
Anatomy and applying everything I learned in the first year to it: the rest of the year. (On plastercasts of heads, torsos and other body parts, and full body plastercasts.
Year 3 and 4:

Life drawing at school (2, 3 nights a week)
Life drawing outside school
Drawing from imagination
Some digital color studies
Anatomy from every available resource from time to time, because it must be refreshed as much as possible.

To have a solid structure during the first year is most important I think.
Once I was joining the life drawing classes, there wasn't much structure anymore and it becomes really hard to see which areas of your knowledge and skills need improvement. If you haven't had a structured 1st year, I think it's must be even harder, because in the first year I learned to be self- critical.

I am certain that there are many other ways to do it, and I am certainly not claiming this method to be the best there is. I'm merely stating the path I've walked during my first years of learning how to draw. For instance, we've hardly had instruction about gesture and the importance of flow. I consider this a major flaw in my academy's instruction plan. Luckily, I was motivated enough to not be satisfied with school alone, and I went to study in my own time (as much as I could) and discovered Vilppu, Loomis, Hogarth etc.
One important thing about studying on your own would be not to study different methods at the same time. If you want to study Loomis and Hogarth, study one of them first for a while and only go on to the next one when you are done with the first one.
---
But I do feel that style is very important, and yes, though a good painter can paint in any style I think it's important to have something recognisable about your art. All of the artists I admire have distinct styles that are instantly recognisable, as do a lot of good artists. It may be the way they draw faces, or their certain way of painting or shading the image, but there is always something that marks it as their style.
So far I have jumped between so many different kinds of painting, whether it be the way I go about drawing the figure or how I shade it, and I have to say I'm not very pleased that there is nothing that would make a person go 'Hey, Ilenora drew that!' as all my images look so different. I don't think that a good thing at all :P
It's true that every experienced artist has his or her own way of expressing him/herself.
One can spend years and years trying to mimic someone else's way of working, and I admit that it's fun to do and sometimes helps one a bit along the way. But when you don't throw most of these "styles" away and only keep what is of use to you, you are merely copying an artist, rather than developing your own "language".

As a self respecting artist, you want to express your feelings and thoughts, the way you want to, not the way your idols do it. Think about it ;)

Ilenora
02-14-2010, 11:25 AM
Thanks very much for all your thoughts! :)

Unfortunately, my lifestyle, where I live, money and my age restricts me, and it would be extremely difficult to join a drawing/art school, academy or anything of the sort. I can only work and practice from home, currently. I would only be able to learn from online courses - which usually cost more than I can afford - books and similar things that I can do from home...
I realise that to learn to draw well, a more structured learning process is required, which is definitely something I've never had. So far, in my years of drawing, I have just drawn whatever I feel like drawing, and have simply improved by doing so.

As for the style discussion, I never really planned on copying a certain artist (I'm currently not using any particular artist as a direct reference), I'm simply using a few different sources that I like as inspiration and seeing if I can fall on any definite way of handling things that I enjoy :) So I am, and always have really, expressed my feelings and thoughts the way I want to, using others as inspiration along the way. For instance, the artist I admire most of all is Adele Lorienne (http://saimain.deviantart.com/), however I have never even attempted to copy her style. I love her images so much, but her style is not one I want to try and replicate or even use as reference. So I've never tried to copy an idol, which is probably why my techniques have always jumped between so many different things.
Even so, from the bit of sketching I've done so far, I've found that I keep falling back on a particular style of sketching. So I think I have actually developed a bit of a personal style, as least when it comes to sketchy outlines of people. Which I'm quite happy about :)

Regards
Ilenora

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