To this point I've put most of my focus on creature and character design. This is really the area I'm most interested in, but I've been improving my ability to do backgrounds and architectural designs (and by improving I mean VERY incrementally, I've got a ton of work to do there). I've heard that when submitting a portfolio, you should have it be focused on a specific area of talent, rather than showing the entire spectrum of your ability. Obviously, I'd like to be strong in all areas, but for now should I just refine the area that I'm already strongest in?
Seems your focus is too myopic to me. Why would you not develop your skills holistically instead of in isolated pieces? I would focus on representing light and shadow and interesting poses/ compositions for your images. Make them immersive which may include background vignettes.
Thanks for the feedback! I feel like being able to render interesting environments is a vital part of learning to draw and paint, I was just wondering if putting focus in that area right now might hinder me in other areas. I do feel like I'm missing something in not being able to reliably design backgrounds.
Instead of thinking of it as character drawing - architectural drawing -- just focus on learning fundamental - universal drawing skills.
Perspective, proportion, form, lighting, colour theory, & composition are universal - they apply to drawing anything. If your strong in these you can do anatomy studies effectively to improve your figure drawings- or you can do studies of insects, mechanical things, architecture to improve your visual library.
Doing architectural studies have improved my figure drawings, just because it's enforced a better understanding of perspective on me. Learning to draw better in general will never hinder you in some other aspect of drawing. You wont get worse at figures if you draw a few buildings or vice versa. In fact, having a solid library of different textures, anatomies, and mechanical work can only improve your character designs, and give you a broader range of coolness.
Don't think in terms of characters and backgrounds, think in terms of scenes and pictures. What story are you trying to tell? What elements do you need to tel that story?
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