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30 day art challenge

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ptgibson14
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Day 1:

I'll do some homework and figure out how to get 3 dimensional forms with brushes....its not like traditional so i gotta figure that out...any and all tips/crits are welcome. Also, what method would you guys take on sketching this skull?

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  • Alex Javor
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    nice sketch. 

    To take it to the next step -- if you wanted to -- you can look a little closer at the line work and start to refine things to get a bit closer to a 1:1 match. Right now it's pretty simplified, which is fine for a sketch. I don't have much experience doing 2d work like this so I really only know one workflow which I learned from watching Aaron Blaise videos on youtube. Basically you make a fast and loose sketch, then refine the line work, then add local color, then lighting, and then finishing touches. I do things slightly differently by working with layer mask and filling them with color, this allows flexibility and is great for a beginner who doesn't have a great eye for color and needs to tweak things for awhile to find the best choices. If you aren't familiar with that method I'll make a tutorial sometime if you're interested. It's pretty common though -- a lot of people do it in substance painter for 3d art as well.

    Not sure what you mean by 3d forms... maybe you mean just give it a sense of form and volume? A lot of that will come together when you add lighting to the scene. Check out Aaron Blaise on youtube -- he has some pretty cool workflows covering that, and he does animals and stuff like that so you may even find some demo's in which he paints some skulls or bones like this. Actually he has a live stream going pretty regularly so if you want to learn from a real pro, follow that dude. Lots to be learned.

    Keep it up. 29 more to go. Just don't miss a day.
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    Yeah I just started painting by color picking from the reference but that isnt working.  I like ctrl paints videos and im following along with those exercises....i just checked aaron blaise's video and I think i gotta work up to that
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown polycounter
    Better than anything I could do šŸ˜ƒ ill be happy to chat when / if you get into the 3D side of things
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
    Use construction lines.  You're just trying to nail the contours, which doesn't work that well for getting proportions.
  • Alex Javor
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    in photoshop, check out "rulers" and "grid" to help with that ^^^

    sometimes I just make some half-assed hash marks to kind of guide things but definitely if you are going for accuracy, bust out the rulers and get scientific on that shit.
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    Ok, and Taylor I definitely wanna incorporate 3D. Also, does anyone know how to make good shading brushes in the latest photoshop version?  Do you just use a soft brush? 


    The brush icon he has must be that type of brush thats letting him get a traditional style shading effect, but i cant find that type of brush in my version of photoshop which is up to date....ive looked online for this answer but it would help if one of you guys knew it 
  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycounter

    You have good hand eye coordination. Rough sketching a anatomically derived shape is not an easy object too tackle and drawn in perspective view, correctly, conveys to me that you've a solid grasp observing those key features of a given subject...nice going.

    EDIT:

    The artist is either using an imported brush set or modified their own:

           

  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    day 2:
    not so great now that im lookin at it but imma keep sketching.  I tried blocking out the shapes to begin with but i just need hella mileage before it looks legit.

    feng zhus looks so much better lol....must be nice to go to art center...imma start a go fund me
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    Heres some more for day 2

    I'm wondering what its gonna take to go to the next level....muscle memory, practice, and what else?  good tutorials lol... i feel like getting every little thing when copying an image is tough cuz in looking away from the reference its easy to get lost...or tunnel visioning into one spot and losing sight of the whole....i guess practice and time sort that out...
    thats the first construction line layer there, idk if thats a good way to do organic (or any) object.  There's a good video on construction lines that shows him putting further lines down the middle of objects like the head and stuff, and that helps with perspective and all that so my next sketches will have a more advanced construction line setup
  • Alex Javor
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    hell yeah. 

    you're doing great. your sketches will look as good as that guys you mentioned not before too long. you don't need to go to an expensive school. No doubt he was drawing for a long time before he went to school anyhow. All you have to do is the same. Just keep working and analyzing yourself as you go. You already have a big head start in that you know how to observe a lot better than many beginners will. 

    Just keep it up. Getting better will depend on many things... getting better at not just reading an image, but also breaking it down, knowing what elements to capture and what to simplify or ignore... just have fun and experiment. Maybe you try something crazy and then when you compare the old versus the new, the new looks better. So boom, you just learned something new that can make your art look better. That's all there is to it.

    About brushes, there is a pluralsight tutorial called "making custom brushes in photoshop" or something like that. Also Aaron Blaise shows some methods to adjust brushes in his digital painting for beginners video on youtube. It's really pretty easy once you play around with it, I don't recommend buying brushes at all. 
  • Alex Javor
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    day 2:


    it's real small little things that make the difference here. Notice the position of those front teeth and how much distance there is to the back ones... just one example of where your proportions are a touch off. When you are sketching, this is the key thing you want to nail down. The entire rest of the piece depends on getting the proportions right, that is why it's so important. I would almost say getting the proportions right is the biggest chunk of work -- the real work. The rest is more loose and fun, IMO, but when it coems to getting the proportions, they just got to be right.
  • Alex Javor
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    One last thing : the stress you feel when you look at your work and compare to more experienced artist is a good thing. It's what will drive you to greatness. But if you let it get out of control, it can cause a crash! So let there be the drive to improve, but don't let the stress outweight the fun factor. You just got to learn to balance that. So it's very much a personal journey. Your self is the first tool you have to master, then the rest comes easy.

    Just remember that you will make your best work when you feel relaxed, stress free, and are having fun. So you always want to be looking for ways to get yourself into that mode whenever possible. Of course there are times when you'll be cranky or tired and you just got to suck it up and work -- but if you are always like that you'll plateau and your quality may even get worse. 
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    Day 3: 
    Galapagos tortoise probably took about 20-25 min
      
  • Alex Javor
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    go for more accuracy. If you don't have enough time to devote in a single sitting, just break it into pieces. Maybe on the first sitting, you rough sketch the entire thing, focusing on overall forms and proportions. Then on the next sitting, just focus in on getting more accurate lines in one area. You don't have to beat any single work to death, but try to make each one a little better. Review what you have done so far, look for weaknesses, and make sure to fix those on the next one. If you cannot find a weakness, look at some better artist work. Then compare against your own. What is different about it? Don't get upset. Don't get jealous. You need to stay focused here. You are thieving, that is all. Who they are, where they come from, that shit doesn't matter. You just want to find the goods and be off. You may see something and not understsand how it was done, but knowing that something is possible is enough. If somebody else can do it, so can you. So it's just a matter of reverse engineering, trial and error. That's all.

    Some specifics about your work above : Look at the underside of neck in your sketch. You have reduced it to basically two lines with a shallow angle. But look closer at the ref. The neck actually has several undulations. It's more complex than it seems. And his poor head, you've almost made him another species by not being more careful with paying attention to where the eye sits in relation to the rest of the skull. And the underside of the shell becomes almost a flat line, whereas you kept a curve. These are just a few specifics, but throughout the work little things  like this are off and it is the difference between being a novice and being professional. Just a matter of applying more care and discipline is all.

    A loose sketch doesn't mean, "anything goes." It just means that you are only focusing on the most important aspects and nothing else, of which proportions are paramount. So the eye has to be in the right part of the head, otherwise it just ain't a tortoise!

    Each sketch you make, strive for a little more accuracy.

    keep it up!
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    Yeah I got a bit lazy with that one...i talked to some people on artstation and i think imma go for character art......thatll appease my anxiety of having an uncertain financial situation since there are character art jobs with studios....plus thats what ive gravitated towards most of my life...i studied anatomy quite a bit to become a personal trainer.....all that....i guess my apprehension was that alot of people go for this but fuck it.....ill just have to get good....ill do both 2d and 3d work but focus more on 3d till i get the job
  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycounter

    Your sketches are fine, no need to be pedantically concerned with proportional accuracy at this stage. Drawing in and of itself is a foundational skill that'll take years too master and if character art might be your thing checkout Anatomy For 3D Artists workshop by Scott Eaton. He's a classically trained sculptor/painter, had studied in Florence plus a pioneer in digital sculpture. 

    SIDE NOTE:

    Yeah, Feng Zhu is dope! I've worked through some of his tutes myself and initially found was a steep learning curve when making my first wobbly, tentative steps into the realm of digital painting. Another Concept/3D Artist you might not be aware of is Stefan Morrell, whom I have followed since shortly after jumping across too CG via the traditional space in 2006. His art is honestly eye popping as you'd expect from an industry vet. 

    (BTW I've had Sefan's 'Red Mech' PC screensaver 3yrs running, mainly for inspiration as a hardsurface modeler :D )

  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    ok cool thanks.....i switched over to zbrush work and im makin a little concept i came up with. 
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    jama jurabaev's vr work is sweet...imma keep mine now and work on cool mechs and vehicles.....that seems to be what gravity sketch is good for....he proves u can do more but the vehicle stuff looks so natural
  • Alex Javor
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    if you do your blocking out with much lower resolution.  it will save you a lot of time and headache. 

    you can also literally block out with blocks. and cylinders. basically fill in the main volumes with primitive shapes, then dynamesh them all together and taper and smooth the connections. 


  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    day 4: took about 30 min cuz i couldnt get the head quite right

  • Alex Javor
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    looking good. 

    just eyeballing it, looks like your head may be a touch larger and the size of the body is a little off too. Overall effect is that yours looks a bit more like a pony than it should. 

    As you work, especially on such beautiful and magnificent animals like the horse, keep an eye out for what you think really makes them so beautiful -- the perfection in their forms, you might say. For me, that's where the real joy in the work is. Really studying things I admire a lot, and trying to discover what makes them so perfect. 

  • Alex Javor
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    here I am, drinking my third cup of coffee, and there is no new art. Where is the art? There is supposed to be art.

    @ptgibson14
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    i know im sorry i had to catch up on some sleep cuz ive been stayin up till like 5 am and having to work at like 830....so i passed out early after work yesterday........imma get on some anatomy studies in zbrush...i need to focus on a 3d character artist position
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    i know...i think im back on track 
  • Alex Javor
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    You missed a day. That was the challenge. 
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    I'm still figuring things out   :sweat_smile:
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
    Figuring what out?  Just post art.  Whatever you have.  There's no point in showing perfect stuff here.  Just keep cracking at it, even if it's small.
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    workin on anatomy in zbrush right now starting out w zspheres.  Idk why "a" doesnt let me preview my mesh like it does around 3:50 in this tutorial 

    moving on though hopefully someone on here can answer that for me
  • ptgibson14
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    fingers could be longer and better neck but i think proportions are ok....what do yall think

  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    shout out to panda for helpin out tonight! thanks alot man
  • Alex Javor
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    review @carvuliero post history and look at for their advice to beginners for studying characters and anatomy. Lots of good advice there.

    Then, get a slew of tutorials on the subject and just go crazy sculpting. Work some marvelous designer into the mix when you get tired of studying anatomy. If you are already familiar with hard surface modeling, maybe work on some of those sci-fi suit space marine type things, if that interest you.

    My main advice would be to study from real life as much as possible. It will make everything much more clear.
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    day 6: torso sculpt

    still workin on it
  • Alex Javor
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    great work. Seems like a good idea to break the body into digestible chunks like this.

    remember to start from the bones. Then comes muscles, and last comes the fat and skin.

    Learning the bony landmarks first can help with getting proportions right.

    If you are having trouble getting some muscles right, make sure you understand where they connect to, and what happens when they contract. And look in the mirror whenever you need. No reason to be confused for too long when you've got all the reference you need where ever you go.

    keep it up

  • ptgibson14
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    thanks to panda, alex, and pluralsight for tips on how to break the body parts into planes and basic forms.......i love zbrush though this tool is  amazing
  • Alex Javor
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    look's like you are paying attention to the ribg cage and understand how the abdomen works. the prominent muscles on the neck that go down to the clavicle are really important because they are so visible. Make sure you understand what's going on there very well.

    something  you'll want to experiment with -- drop your subdivision level down low and try to work mostly just using the move brush. You'll be surprised how much faster and easier it is to get your essential forms like this.

  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    Yeah im about to just go to the best artists gumroad and see what theyre doing for 3d character art.......this seems like my path now...i enjoy it.......2d is painful lollllllllll but i bet understanding 3d well is gonna help 2d work because I know to break things into forms now and create planes
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    day 7: torso back and refining the sculpt

  • Alex Javor
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    you should message a mod and get this moved to the 3d section. you'll get a lot more critiques there. human anatomy is a popular subject and you'll get tons of advice.

    looks like your muscles are mostly in position, but the subtle shapes in the volumes lack refinement. You'll get there soon though I think. Just remember not to really totally on the lighting to inform you but spin the model around and inspect the surface from all angles. Read the silhouette.

    this breakdown demonstrates the importance of some of the bony landmarks:

    a good demonstration of how you can use an ecorche to help visualize the anatomy in an intuitive way (there is a free ecorche in lightbox>tools of zbrush):




  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle
    day 8: back to 2d....tryin to learn the right way...im using a 3d model from a medical app called complete anatomy and it seems legit...also tryin to learn figure drawing now but im tryin to get proportions, perspective, and the anatomy of all the human parts down before i move onto the figure....its kinda difficult to draw what u see but i feel like u gotta warm up and go into that art trance where ur in the zone and dont think too much idk....maybe a more seasoned artist out there can tell me how they get when theyre in the zone or whatever it is where they produce good work...cuz i feel like it really is like sports where ur hand is tight and u gotta loosen up before ur ready to do the necessary work


  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle

    i can take my medical model, hide the arms and focus on the ribcage and just trace it enough times so i can quickly gain understanding of 3d forms...this app is sweet...smarter not harder right lol
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle

    so i took loomis's work, cross referenced it with my medical reference, and i think i have a better understanding of a ribcage now.......the back part of the ribs goes lower on the bottom and higher at the top.....sides poke out the most 2/3rds down...and its egg shaped....great....if there's anything else i should know im all ears....also there's twelve ribs and they taper off at both ends and are connected by cartilage 
  • ptgibson14
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    Day 9: figure drawing


    tomorrow will be much more figure drawing
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle

    more late night work....tryin to understand form better but not using reference....i probably am gonna get in zbrush tomorrow and experiment with primitives and trace over it so i know how forms work better......so cubes for head, torso, and pelvis....then cylinders for upper and lower limbs...that should be more effective than guessing.  
  • Alex Javor
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    great work. all you got to do is keep going like this. Just be sure to take what you see and learn in reference and try to identify it in real life. This will help you avoid interpretation errors and also it helps build a natural, visual understanding.

    for me, getting in the zone is when I need to hit a deadline, so I take a short exercise break to begin with, you know move the brain juices around a little bit, then I commit to absolutely avoid all distractions and just focus 100% on the art for however long. Pretty soon hours have flown by and I was just totally into the work. So it's not a matter of warming up, it's a matter of diving headfirst into the deep end so there's no choice but to swim.

  • ptgibson14
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    Day 10: I think Iā€™m improving 

    I can tell with this one the arms are a little long
  • ptgibson14
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    ptgibson14 triangle

    8 heads tall and i focused some on the lateral proportions but w more practice Imma figure it out... my next objective is to get my anatomy right and observe many real life body types... I guess someone who knows more can recommend where I should go from here
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