View Full Version : Polishing your creation!
07 July 2010, 10:45 AM
Do you have issues with polishing your work? I do. All the creations iv made are always unpolished. I don't know what it is, i believe its the fact i have no technical training or expertise. Obvious, but when i try to polish a piece, for experience, i just don't know how or where to began.
Here's an example. I'm not too sure how to finish it. Its not bad, style doesn't matter, but its unfinished. How would you guys touch it up?
When i see art from other artist, whether they are good or bad, whatever their skill level, they typically have a nice polish to it giving it that extra WOW beautiful im finish factor.
I see my work, and i can never call it a (finish) masterpiece. I want to learn how to give it that extra candy so it looks finish.
One problem iv been thinking of is, other artist use fancy brush styles, exotic stuff. But im not good at using those. But it looks like without those, most artist wouldn't be able to achieve the effects they have with just the regular brush. Its like water painting on a nice canvas that compliments it. Currently the only brush i am fluent with is that circle opaque and size adjustable brush. I want to know how much factor does the brush and it's use of play.
While writing this i found my problem. I like things to be easy, sure i am natural, but i am also too laid back. I dont want to learn extra things especially technical things. I realize Iv never really learned anything in my life. My problem is the technical part. Learning the bursh, tools, ect, too technical, so i tend to skip it. Leaving me with the only knowledge of the basic brush. I need to learn the technical, the things i dont know or am not good at.... Forgive me, now i know my issue. Im teh lazy, and will now take my time to learn things i cant easily do. Thats why im so incomplete! Oh i am teh happy i found my issue with polishing and such other issues in my life. Iv never learned anything that i wasnt good at, i need to start doing that!
Ill post this anyway. Id like for others to input how theyd go about making either of these better. Im trying to learn how to color and make my creations look professional.
07 July 2010, 03:31 AM
Good to see that you have found the answer so quickly on your own. Yes, you cannot excel at anything unless you are willing to pay your dues. If you want instant gratification, then just sit on the couch and watch TV all day. Even playing video games require you to learn and master the gameplay.
Other than experimenting with brushes, you need to also learn about many other things like lighting, values, color...etc. They all contribute to the "finished" look you are referring to. In fact, if you have any intention of becoming a better artist at all, you need to study the foundations. Start with the sticky threads at the top of this forum--they are like years of free art school.
07 July 2010, 05:41 AM
Hi Lunatique, yes. I saw that i was holding on to the desire that being skilled/knowledgeable in certain skills, trades, ect, would transfer nicely to being able to do this other skill/trade. I wasnt delusional, but its taken more then i was hoping for.
In art alone. Line art and coloring, they can pretty much be 2 different skills. Yet from the outside one can assume if you can draw/line art, then you can pretty much color or shade. I guess my frustration is the fact my personal life doesn't really allow enough time for me to learn these skills i lack.
I have to just color and learn the tools and be patient. Experiment like crazy. I have been getting slightly better :) trying to learn tricks and techniques to achieve the desire effects.
Patience patience, hopefully before the world ends, i have a polished masterpiece i am proud of.
07 July 2010, 08:59 AM
One problem iv been thinking of is, other artist use fancy brush styles, exotic stuff. But im not good at using those. But it looks like without those, most artist wouldn't be able to achieve the effects they have with just the regular brush.
I think you are partly right there. Some things are dependent on tools, and some artist can't do without their preferred tool, but a good artist can use advantages and limits of the tool to create what he/she chooses - and chooses a tool to support that. It's no sence (usually) of using for example oils to create looks of aquarels or something (something like that could be usefull exercise though). Of cource many things can be done with almost any tool, but when done without purpose it looks to me more like some technical show off.
So knowing the tools is usefull, but as you noted, it is not the thing that is limiting you the most. It might - how ever - give you some motivation if you see how some things can be made easier. For learning the tools, maybe you coud try to choose some project that motivates you and what needs those tools so it could be made. Then you could just rush trough the necassary tech stuff to get what you need, then take the next project and add another 10% of new stuff there. So try to attach the learning to something you need so it's not the main subject of doing, just the thing you need to do on the way.
So far I haven't found any shortcuts to making a finished piece (let me know it there is any :D), just many hours of doing it. 10% of inspiration, 90% or pure work. But actually finishing something gives me great sence of achievement. One turning point for me was when I slowly started to realize that how mutch work it actually takes to make finished piece and that it could be done. No magic, just work and even I can do something that pleases me (at least for that 10 minutes after I find something that need fixing :argh:).
If you really don't know what to do next with some piece, why not trying Focused Critiques (http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=102) -part of this forum?
Good luck. You have good start when knowing somehthing of yourself. It helps a lot when thinking what needs to do next.
07 July 2010, 07:53 PM
For learning the tools, maybe you coud try to choose some project that motivates you and what needs those tools so it could be made. Then you could just rush trough the necassary tech stuff to get what you need, then take the next project and add another 10% of new stuff there. So try to attach the learning to something you need so it's not the main subject of doing, just the thing you need to do on the way.
Yeap, thats what im trying to do. Trying to think of projects that would require the use of this or that tool so i have a purpose of using it.
But actually finishing something gives me great sence of achievement.
Working on that.
Will try the Focused Critiques (http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=102) section.
07 July 2010, 02:36 AM
What I generally do with every drawing/model/etc is that when I get to a point that I am no longer going to work on it, I look at it and find 3 things that I really like about the drawing as continues, and 3 things that I'd like to improve upon.On subsequent pieces, I pay attention to these details. Also, if there is anything you can do to simplify the piece and break it into smaller parts it makes it easier to find what you think is good and what is superfluous.
07 July 2010, 07:37 AM
Hi sqrlcub. Yes i am looking at my recent pieces and i basically spot the same good and bads. Typically, i have good form and expression, but the dept and detail are very poor. Like Lunatique said, i am missing a lot of the foundations of things like lighting and color.
Im currently working on a piece that has been helping me greatly in understanding how to implement color and lighting. So far their are 3 things iv noticed that im lacking, lighting, dept of color, shading, and need to be patient and consistent with my outlines or how to make them look nice. Overall, i need to really go at it and stop giving up just because its something i have yet to master or understand.
You can check out my progress here.
07 July 2010, 10:14 PM
I know the feeling. I think I struggle with the same things. Most of my drawing concerns come from not putting the characters in space. The form of the characters became much more consistent when you visualize the character with simpler geometry and then wrap the details around that geometry. It really helps turning the object in space. When I grasped that my actual drawing became much better.
09 September 2010, 02:09 AM
Sometimes I attribute this to the following: sometimes if you know something is off with a picture but you don't fix it at an early stage (eg, naturally, you're keen to get onto the next thing and test out some new techniques), the pressure mounts up and all the little problems kill your motivation to complete.
Motivation to complete is significant too - a picture takes time, and like most things the project management "cost management" idiom is true - the earlier you find a problem, the cheaper it is to fix. What we're spending here is energy.
Get a bunch of references of what you consider to be "great" art, or the kind of thing that really appeals to you and you want to work towards - not to copy, but in terms of style and quality of finish. Additionally, and best: if you can find a series of WIP shots from something you love, print them all out and put them on the wall.
At each stage (sketch, light / tone rendering, colour palette selection, texturing, etc - however your workflow looks), assess the image against your heroes work and simply ask: is it up to scratch? Before you progress past say, the sketch, are you happy with everything in the sketch? The linework, the pose, the detail, the position on the canvas, the characters emotions and communications, the background, the props, etc???
If you look at any of these items and go, well, no, my character has wonky hips, or a short leg, or that background "sucks" - rework. References, references, more references (google images, GO!) and rework. Put in the immediate and sudden effort to improve before you proceed.
Don't aim for perfection - just get all of the basic technical items correct (anatomy, focal point, linework, perspective, proportion, form), make a good, solid foundation, and once it's done - proceed to the next step. Don't start rendering the colour on a character if the sketch is bad, or before you have the whole sketch down, etc. You can't rush, you can't skip - art takes massive, massive work, so do the work.
If you get halfway through having spent 20 hours painting your character and realise his proportions are completely whack - this will kill you. You can't really push on past this, you need to scrap the character and start over. This is disappointing and heartbreaking, definitely! So don't let it get to that stage! Keep one eye on the quality and one eye on the process and proceed gingerly friends!! =)
09 September 2010, 07:30 AM
Thanks everyone. Iv been absent in my progress but i have gotten better when the time allowed. This thread is old but actually it still helps me. I like the input from everyone especially from madmomo, very in-dept and yet striaght to the point.
Thats exactly what iv been doing. Especially the using reference of a certain art, style i like. Never did that because believe it or not i didnt want to spend time hunting for reference, its a lot of work. But iv fixed that by just doing it, and it helps greatly :]
09 September 2010, 07:30 AM
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