One step forward, two steps back

I’d had the bare bones of this Valentines drawing started before I did the last piece (my Fitzsimmons comic). Still there was plenty of scope to apply the lessons I’d learned and #1 was don’t mix styles.

So as you can see there’s lines around the hair.

I think some things on this came out well. I’m pleased with the shading on some of Belle’s skin, I think Gold’s collar looks ok and I like the hand that is placed on her side (apart from the fact that it looks like it’s floating). The biggest success with this was the faces. I looked for tips on YouTube and then I drew the faces by eye. It’s not perfect but it looks loads more like Belle and Gold than last weeks Fitz and Simmons attempt.

Ultimately it’s not a terrible job but as always there are lessons to be learned.

The angle on this was awkward. It involves foreshortening and again – just like with Gold’s hand – I think I have a floating issue with their extended legs. In fact everything sort of looks like it’s floating – that chocolate box is definitely not grounded. Belle’s hair is too red and Gold’s hair should have more grey in it.

Plus I’m still kinda mixing styles. I didn’t think I was until I thought about it after it was completed. The digital painting which gives the shading doesn’t really match with the solid lines. I should really have chosen whether it was a digital painting or cartoon/comic book style.

The biggest takeaway from this though is materials/textures. I used the same painting/shading technique on everything and it’s alright but it kinda looks too polished. I struggled particularly with Gold’s feet (in the socks), though some of that was down to the awkward angle.

My next piece is going to be Finn and BB-8 from Star Wars. I’m going to aim to make that a true digital painting and I’m going to do a deep-dive on YouTube for how to differentiate materials. After that I think I’m going to scream into reverse and try and do a true comic book style, as I have another comic to draw.

A Mix of Styles

This is a comic I posted yesterday. It’s for Fitzsimmons, the prompt was ‘Coming home to you‘, and it’s a slight AU of their Academy years to post-show when they are happy in a cottage in Perthshire.

I was a bit short on time when I did this and it shows because once I realized where I was going wrong I didn’t have chance to go back and fix it.

You see I decided to try and go for a simple “comic book” style hence the black lines because I thought that would be faster. I got discouraged when it started looking like my old art and that’s when the mess with the hair happened.

I think it would have looked more coherent and better if I had stuck with the black lines over trying to ‘merge’ the methods. The same with the cheating I did with the posters in the dorm-room, they are just photos from google.

The other real issue is the faces and the fact that they don’t look anything like either Fitz or Simmons. Faces have long been my bugbear and I’m not sure how to resolve this, I think a deep-dive on YouTube is in my future.

Coming up next is a Valentines themed Rumbelle picture. Bearing in mind what I learned here about how not to mix methods I’m hoping it’ll be better.

New Year Retrospective and Art Update

Back in September I said that I’d had a bit of a revelation. It was probably a doh revelation but I can be quite dense. Basically I stated that “I’m an artist” whereas for years (all my life really) I’ve been saying the opposite, that I’m no good at art etc. I then did another post about Where I start and this is the follow-up to that.

It’s a lot later than I’d intended and that’s why this post is also my New Year post because September-December last year didn’t go at all according to plan. I think I said a bit about that in my NaNo post, where I confessed to writing only 11k (my lowest total ever). True I had gone back to university so I was busier than I’d been in years but time wasn’t really the problem.

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Ground Level aka Where I Start

I spent a good chunk of yesterday watching YouTube tutorial videos – Draw with Jazza – and he was sketching these examples while he talked, showing what to do, and it was incredible. His rough ‘first attempts’ (which he apologized for) were coming out much better than anything I’ve ever drawn. I tried to follow along and mimic what he was doing, comparing my attempt with his was laughable.

Now at this point it would be easy to get discouraged BUT it’s Day One. This guy has been drawing for twenty years, it’s his job, obviously I’m not going to produce anything like what he can anytime soon. The point isn’t to compare my work with his, we’re different people for a start and so will naturally have different styles – there is no comparison. The point is to compare my work against my previous work. See how far I’ve come and then see where I want to go next.

In this post I’ll be looking at the art I’ve drawn over the past year, talking about the techniques I used, and then at the end say what the plan is for the next week or two. Let’s get started!

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