this is when a simple 3d block model saves so much time and energy..
sb most art copied to page 1
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^i'd have to disagree kendall. in a production pipeline where speed is important, by all means block it in 3d, but when it's for the sake of studying and learning one has to take his time and actually drill the subject matter into the brain--in this case doing it by hand. on that note, however, i happen to think carl dobsky's method is kind of unneccesarily complex. to compliment that method of learning perspective, check out scott robertson's perspective form drawing dvds. it ditches the cone of vision (i'm not discounting it's importance, but it's really all about locking down the eye level), it's really efficient, and it's simple.
anyway, enough of that. nice work lately man, keep up the good work. your values are looking solid, my only advice would be to maybe do some straight color studies so you don't always have to start with a greyscale and do a color overlay-which most of the time won't get the richness that straight color painting can get.
Hi Thomas! I noticed from your jungle painting that you might be having some challenges that I've had… I wrote this comment before you reworked the piece, so take from this the things you find useful, and ignore the rest.
I really like the basic composition of the picture, and the concept. I haven't painted jungles myself yet, so observing this painting made me think about trying out more and more things.
The diagonal tree formation in the center looks good compositionally, but I think it would work out a lot better if the shape was more simplified and clear, creating a stronger contrast in comparison to the more unpredictable and formless shapes and foliage of the jungle… creating a focus to the picture. Of course, it all depends on what you were trying to communicate with that diagonal shape, and with the whole painting in general - maybe the things you wanted to say were meant to be so subtle in the first place that they shouldn't be communicated with such a clear shape that I had in mind - but I just get a feeling that you were just trying to create a "jungle concept" instead of a picture that has true meaning to you, that has a focus to it that makes sense to you emotionally. (Also, this is just my perception, tell me if I'm totally wrong about this.)
To make this more clear, I believe art is all about transmitting feeling/meaning to the viewer. And I believe meaning is created by our way of focusing on things. And a certain kind of focus is created by certain use of contrasts - for example, contrasts of shapes in comparison to each other, simple and clear versus "random" shapes, warm color versus cool, round versus angular, diagonal versus horizontal, detailed vs simplified, etc. I also think that it's impossible to accurately tell what kind of focus, or use of contrasts, creates what kind of meaning. I believe it all falls exactly into place only when you're in the good, inspired state of mind, when you truly mean what you say with your brushstrokes. Because in the end, there are so many variables in a painting, so many different things that interact with each other within the painting… that creating a meaning and focus isn't a simple, straight-forward thing. Nor should it be, because this means that there is an infinite amount of meanings to be expressed, which means that you have more than enough room to be your unique self, and express yourself as you desire.
Remember: Feeling <- Meaning <- Focus <- Contrast. No book that I've read has ever told about this, so I had to come up with it on my own, and it makes perfect sense to me. Whenever I'm feeling stuck, when I feel like I'm not being real and I'm not transmitting true emotion/meaning, I remind myself that there is an infinite amount of different contrasts and ways of focusing… That somehow opens up my mind, and I start to feel "real" and creative again.
So, as far as this painting goes, I don't feel that it has a specific focus that has true meaning to you. Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Nothing seems to truly stand out above all else in the picture. (Except the vine that curls around the trunk; but to be honest, this detail looks like it has been put there only for the sake of including a focal point. But then again, this is only my perception, many others would most likely disagree with me.) The picture seems like a snapshot taken with a camera in a jungle, where the traveler came across this good-looking view… And while the view was beautiful, the snapshot still does include a lot of things that the traveler doesn't necessarily want in the picture. But he has to cope with it. But luckily, you're not in this position, because you are the designer, and you create this view from the start… And I think every single detail, every direction, every value, color, and compositional choice should be painted in a way that truly means something to you. They should all be there for a meaningful reason.
Also, I'm don't know if you've noticed this, but compositionally speaking (the image as a two-dimensional design), the part where the diagonal tree joins the bigger formation on the right is a bit awkward - to me it kind of looks like a stick is being pulled out of a wall of goo… because of the foliage curving down smoothly on the tree. I created a paint-over (I hope that's OK), where I painted the connection more abruptly. Be careful when it comes to arranging the elements in the picture 2d, it's easy to accidentally imply things in a way in which you really don't want the viewer to see them. Compositionally the light shining from the lamp at the top is quite confusing, too. When you look at the picture as a thumbnail image, the light looks like it's some material - a part of the wooden bridge. I moved the lamp further away from the bridge, and pointed it in another direction. Make everything read as clearly as possible. Keep it simple.
The coloring seems a bit naive. It looks like you used color here as to give an "effect"/illusion of color, as a trick, in batches, instead of modeling the forms with it as they truly would appear in nature. It seems that you chose a local color for each area and painted a batch of it where you were sure it would look convincing, but didn't know how to model that form as a whole in color.
I don't know much about color. But I have thought about it a lot, and I feel that my sense for color is starting to mature little by little. I don't know about the theoretical facts side of it much, but I have come up with ways of thinking about it. For example, I have realized that individual colors, such as red, cyan, viridian green, etc. are just artificial categorizations created by humans. There are an infinite amount of different colors, so in my opinion it's useless to think about colors individually in a picture while painting. Of course we need the names when we have to communicate to each other what paints we use, but in a painting, I think that thinking in individual colors is a great way to limit your workflow. Thinking in terms of color temperature, hue and saturation, however, doesn't involve any limits, because those terms cover the concept of color as a whole. For example, when you model a form in color, in my opinion you shouldn't think about how this part of the object should be painted this color and as it turns away from the light it turns into a color named that, and how the shadow side should include the complementary color of the light side, like you read it in a book.
Instead, think of the scene as a whole, and think of all the light sources that are affecting that scene… Maybe there are two primary sources of light? A warm sun and a cool sky? Now you know you have warm areas of light and cool "shadows" in relationship to each other. (Remember, shadows are not "things". "Shadow" is just a word created by man that describes the lack of light in relationship to a specific source of light. It's like talking about the hole in the middle of a donut. The hole is not a thing, the word only describes the lack of donut in relationship to the donut surrounding it. Even though we all use the word "shadow" when we talk, in my opinion we should almost always think in terms of light and lack of light, instead of light and shadow (although thinking in light and shadow when designing, for example, 2d compositions in B/W does feel like a more effective way of thinking…) - this type of thinking may make coloring a lot easier, since you are now dealing only with lights of different hues, etc., and not some artificial definitions created by man.) Also notice that you shouldn't use the "warm light, cool shadow" and "cool light, warm shadow" principle because you read it in a book, but because it is so. I don't think there's such a thing in the universe as perfect balance. I don't think there can ever be absolutely exact duplicates of anything. You will never see two sources of light that are absolutely the same temperature. It is many times hard to tell the difference, but they're never totally the same.
Because every single thing is relative to another in a painting, you should quickly establish a general color scheme (at least in your mind), and start working from there, instead of trying to guess batches of color individually. In the paint-over I started by creating a black-and-white image, and covering the image completely with a warm tone, on a new Color layer. On this same layer I painted the relatively cool hue of the "shadow" areas. (Remember: there are no shadows, only light and the lack of it! The shadow areas are simply areas that are only receiving light from the surrounding forest, sky, and what have you - in my painting this light is cooler in comparison to the warm primary light.) No color is really warm or cool (or whatever contrasts you can come up with) by itself, but only in relationship to other colors. Because of this relativity, you must absolutely keep things big from the beginning.
A quick word about local color: Because local color is the color of an object that the object transmits only under white light (bananas are yellow, apples are red, etc…), I think the concept of local color should be considered as something theoretical, not practical. In nature, things are always practical, not theoretical, which means that an object that has a certain local color can appear to have pretty much any color depending on the lighting conditions. The world is so infinitely rich in its content, including its lighting conditions, that it would be ridiculous to limit our thinking with another human-invented idea. When you go outside the clean, white, theoretical lab, it's a wild world out there! The color of any object can totally shift when there's a strong reflected light of another color bouncing on it. A banana can have a desaturated blue color when in shadow under a blue sky. Yet the human eye always sees the banana in relationship to other colors surrounding it, and understands that its local color is yellow. Even though its color appears to be blue, the eye calculates that is yellow in relationship to the other colors. The concept of local color should be, I think, used as a useful aid for thinking on the side, and not as a limitation (which it can so easily become). When I paint, I keep my focus on how the colors relate to each other by their value, hue, and saturation, and what kind of contrasts they form, and again shake off the idea of labeling things "green", "cyan", etc. I try not to let the idea of local colors limit me, and keep in my mind the fact that things can appear to be of any color depending on the lighting - I think of local colors only when I think to myself how to make something look green, red, etc. in relationship to another color… even in white light. Remember, relativity is everything. Relativity is king.
I really like the moody lighting of the picture. I think the lights could be enhanced a lot by showing more how they hit the plants and surfaces around them in a consistent manner.
The paint-over is pretty rough, but I think it gets my points across. I also simplified the value patterns way down, choosing the placement of contrasting darks very carefully. I also added something extra on the foreground to add some more depth. I tried to keep things as solid as possible, making no random marks. I'm sorry if I destroyed the initial message of the painting completely, this is just how I would have done it. I didn't paint it very texturally for the sake of keeping things simple (and for the sake of the lack of my skills…). I think it's good to get a fresh point of view from another person every now and then. Hopefully I didn't bore you too much with my endless rambling, either. I got a little carried away I really, really enjoyed your black-and-white studies from other artists, gotta read through those notes you've been taking.
If you agree/disagree with any of my ideas, I'd be interested in hearing your views!
Keep going dude, looking good.
Last edited by ruuhkis; July 3rd, 2012 at 11:51 AM.
Velocity Kendall - yeah true, although it stops you from really understanding what is going on in the image making process, which is something I like to try to grasp fully
Eightball_ - yeah Im noticing that because colour is so powerful, it really screws with all those values that you've so carefully placed. Therefore, I will be trying some colour paints from now on, to experiment a little and hopefully learn something. Actually, recently I've been looking through Craig Mullins' stuff and its taught me a lot about how powerful colour can be.
ruuhkis - wow that is a mammoth comment! Yeah thanks for doing that, and I do agree with a lot of the points made. I have to admit though, that much of it I am already aware of, having read about it many times, but it is great to be reminded and to bring it to the forefront when I'm actually trying to produce something of value. Definitely time I checked out your sb for updates!
I'm getting a little into brewing my own wine at the moment (its cheaper, its fun and I learn a little in the process, whats not-to-like). Anyway, I'm brewing two; a chianti and a pinot noir. To me these names really mean nothing apart from that eventually they will taste different, and hopefully I can come to appreciate the difference over time. As I'll be bottling it myself, I thought I'd design a couple of logos. Boozy Fox and Boozy Floozy Fox (for the ladies). Here's the first (oh, and a little more study of inclined planes in perspective)
Last edited by ThomasM; July 6th, 2012 at 07:42 AM.
Some perspectival analysis of craig mullins' work (hes a real advocate for using perspective to creat atmosphere and mood).. and starting to work on painting with colour now... its interesting, but HARD!
Interesting studies on perspective!
Keep in mind that the power of perspective on mood and emotion is dependent on some things, including 1.) how it affects the composition and b.) how it affects your audience's view.
That composition featuring a pair of knights and their crossed axes is a classic example of formal divisions to denote power and virtue (as per Loomis), and notice how the perspective lines fall neatly into a symmetrical pattern, like this:
And look at the first and last compositions on the left side, and notice how one has a worm's eye view and the other has a bird's eye view. In terms of the audience's view point, do you want to make them feel like they're engulfed by a big world or like they're soaring above a small world?
All those perspective studies, I am so amazed, I truly
do not understand what is all happening on them, but they
look fascinating, it surely indicated that you are doing studies
like no one else here. You are taking things seriously, there
is no time wasting with you, and that is how it should be.
Your progress is so much visible like a Chinese wall from
the airplane, more than outstanding. I was surprised
by the post of ruuhkis, it looks full of useful info, I did
not read it yet, but I intend to. You are a true motivation
to us all, so take care and keep on creating miracles.
And never stop drinking your own brewed vine.
something from today!!
I'm a bit of a nervous wreck about applying for art school now, as my app has to be in for the end of the week really. Oh well, nose to the grindstone!
Last edited by ThomasM; July 24th, 2012 at 10:32 AM.
Hey Tom just wanted to try and reassure you, you wouldn't be human if you didn't feel nervous. It's a good thing I think and perfectly natural when you are taking such a big step. Your work has really taken off in the imaginative stakes since you've got back from your travels and I really like this last robot/mech. I'm sure that the guys at TAD will recognise all your hard work and commitment.
Marian - thanks Marian, that makes me feel a little better. Time now to focus and get some imaginative workings done. Also definitely time to check out your sb now, its been too long
Aahha oh man, great progress here in just two years! Your studies are looking fabulous. The perspective studies look waaay complicated but if you're learning a lot from them, by all means, do as many as you need. Makes me feel totally lazy in comparison, which is a good thing because its motivation! The way you break down and analyze some professional work is also really neat and definitely something I may try out in the future. Rock on.
SapphireLullaby - Im glad youre getting a bit of a kick to practice, I think sometimes we all need that!
Ricardo Robles - I'm glad they're useful to you in some way. I would really recommend getting hold of those Carl Dobsky DVDs, theyre incredible. And unless you're extremely quick (or perhaps I'm the other end of the spectrum) you can watch them several times and always learn something new that you previously missed.
I went a little overboard with the lighting, but its only a WIP at this stage. Taking some of those previous practice pieces and working them up.
Fetsch - thanks man, Im looking forward to the day when this sb starts to look something like yours
Last edited by ThomasM; July 26th, 2012 at 04:49 AM.
today's mech - pretty proud of this one, although I think there are plenty of ways to improve it still left (and that have been overlooked):
Last edited by ThomasM; July 26th, 2012 at 04:16 PM.
sweeeet! awesome updates dude! love the robots, i always envy people who can create believeable mechas/robots. i cant wrap my head around all of the mechanica elements along side trying to come up with a cool looking design. but anyhoo, great stuff bro. keep at it!
ha ha Tom you making huge steps forward with these last ones. I really like the space one and I had a couple of ideas. I liked the pink lighting in the first WIP and I think it would look good to keep that and then have it graduate into the green lighting which looks good. I just feel that pink gives a feeling of heat of the sun/star behind the ship. I then wondered how it would look to see the front point of the ship coming in about a third from the left edge, and how the asteroids would look if we saw them curling round a bit more. So the focal point would be the point of the ship on the brightest part of the star burst leading into the path of the asteroids.
Hmmm not sure that makes any sense in words but I can't illustrate to help at the mo!
Also be very picky, but that is because you are getting so good now, I think the mech/bot in post 1674 should maybe have one of his arms at a slightly different angle, same for latest mech/bot which does look totally badass by the way. I think you have to think a bit more about their poses to show there shapes. Hope some of this helps.
JoshDArtist - thanks man, appreciate the kind words.
Marian - as always, you are a legeeeeend! Thanks for the useful crits, I'll be sure to get around to changing those things before I submit my portfolio on sunday evening. And thanks for the useful email. I took your advice, and worked on an older piece until mid-day. But then I got carried away with this one below, and threw caution to the wind. Saying that, I'm glad I did because it is developing into something I'm proud of.
NickyBeats - ahh well give some mech a go amigo! I haven't tried it properly until recently, and its all sort of "clicked" painting wise. Anyway, I checked out your SB and its looking strong!
Hands down the best thing I've ever done: This is at less than half the actual size I'm painting it at. Should be done by tomorrow morning if I have a long evening session.
Last edited by ThomasM; July 27th, 2012 at 06:29 PM.
p sage yeah definitely all 2D! I have no clue about 3D and tbh I'm not even tempted to try it at the moment - that can wait until doing things in 2D has stopped being fun (never), or I'm required to by an employer (likely.. but who knows when)
call it done for now - time to play some guitar and learn some bluegrass
Oh, and I reworked that piece from yesterday (I really wasn't happy with it this morning (Isn't it always that way?!))
these two are going straight in the portfolio...
EDIT: Just got an email from TAD saying they're taking back the start date until August 27th.... A bit gutted, but then they're adding on another 6 weeks in total, (12 of foundation and taking 6 off the Major essentially) which sounds very reasonable to me. And thankfully it will cost no more to do the course, so I can't really complaing. Still... I WANT TO START ART SCHOOL! (throws toys from pram) :p
Last edited by ThomasM; July 27th, 2012 at 07:15 PM.
Yeah you nailed it.
looks friggin awesome man.
that last piece is SWEEET.
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