Thursday, August 7, 2014
Did this after watching a Sycra video in which he talks about just drawing freeform, exploring, with no definite goal in mind. When he did it though, it's clear that isn't really what he was doing, he was drawing some very specific anime tropes that he's drawn many times before, so really he was re-exploring some very familiar territory, probably with a little bit of freeform improvisation. I had basically nothing in mind here except a head and shoulders with the head tilted down a bit, and as I drew it ended up looking back over the shoulder and being very elongated/emaciated.
I had a lot of difficulty at this stage, for a ridiculously long time. After a while I realized it's mostly because I was impatient and started drawing/painting with no idea in mind, which never works. Also I should have developed the drawing further before going to paint. Usually if I keep messing with it I can turn it into something after a while, but it's so much better to have an idea for a pose and the character, the clothes, etc. I guess I could work that out through thumbnails, *but that's basically what I did here - when you're working digitally the original drawing is a thumbnail and you can change it as much as you want, as many times as you want, and save the earlier versions if you want. Or so I keep telling myself, though I always hear the opposite on CA. When will I actually apply what I've read there, rather than just diving in and always doing the same stuff the same way, which never worked before?
Finally the elongated cyborg look was getting on my nerves and I didn't know what to do with it, so I did a lot of liquify filter and made it look somewhat human. Can't help but notice how I pretty much eliminated everything that was interesting about the sketch as I refined it - the elongation, the sharp curve of the neck, the way the body seemed to be facing to the left with him looking back over his shoulder. Killed it all and turned him into a stiff-necked wig-head staring straight ahead with no expression. I also originally had the face in shadow where it needed to be - covering the cheek and mouth, but I notice that got lost as I refined. Now the light somehow wraps around to make the face more visible, though it doesn't wrap around the torso the same way. Cheat!!! (Actually all this is ok since my only real intent was to practice lighting/shading on an imagined bust. I think it's pretty successful in terms of transition from shadows to light, which was my goal.)
I think I need to do a few small thumbnail figures really trying to use constructive technique - don't scribble, use big brushes, define each plane with a single stroke, *Though it seems to me being able to do that is more the end result of a learning process rather than something you can do from the beginning. Hard to define planes with big brushes using a single stroke each when in order to do that you need to also already know exactly what color/value to load on the brush for each stroke. I suppose it helps to work out the drawing and do shading on it (more carefully than above) first, then you've got values worked out beforehand. And maybe start off monochromatically or with a simple duotone formula. Or do some color thumbs.
Man, I really need to swat down the passive aggressive voices inside that start whining whenever I think about this stuff and just fucking try it!!
* More excuses
I grabbed this off of Conceptart as an example of constructive painting, though of a crude and tiny/thumbnail sort: