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15 October 2012 @ 09:27 pm
My focus on drawing has slid me down into the asscrack of the Dunning-Kruger curve. I can see knock-kneed hints of professionalism, see how far they fall behind the superb form and gesture and composition and volume in the works I admire. Art is hard, for reals. You read the classic references, like the amazing Andrew Loomis. You study pro illustrators and browse critique threads on Concept Art until you feel unqualified to pick up a box of Crayolas. You gnash and sweat over your own work, wrest life into your flat lines through countless do-overs, feel the lightbulb flick on, still know there's Something Missing but can't tell exactly what. Then you get a fresh look at your finished piece and wonder why you never noticed its shortcomings to begin with.

And at some point, you remember how to give yourself a hand for progress well earned.

Yes, it's cheesy fan service. It's also an exercise in constructing anatomy. The original pose came from a badly lit snapshot. I reposed and rendered it with help from Loomis textbooks and muscle photography. My goal was to capture weight and volume while learning about the underlying structure and developing my own style for representing landmarks of the human body. For a first attempt at such an exercise, I'm proud.

I finally figured out this coloring business well enough for a start. I tried a couple of years back, but the piece fell flat and weird because the underlying structure just wasn't there. Simple as this style is, it was a pleasant and fun surprise. And I can build on it in the future.

Say hello to the best damn lines I've done. Ever. The original took me weeks of on and off poking while I was still shaking off a load of rust from my post-high-school art inactivity. The redraw took 10 days - including the challenges of learning proper facial construction, further loosening up my style, and starting to comprehend hair in locks. Still, I have to give the original fair credit. It shows the symmetry and parallel line measurement I brought over from my cosplay drafting experience, and the tassel has reasonable volume. And I would have never improved if I had been afraid to try.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: Skyrim OST - Far Horizons
See you later, instigator: Cao Cao - Ravages of Timeoudeteron on October 16th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
Well, damn, that last pic is good. The progress is obvious. There's a completely different texture to the drawing now.
The Heavy Metal Matador: Vault Boy Winkingrydain on October 16th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It had a lot to do with getting a better digital setup and starting to understand how Loomis et al. achieve that realistic sort of nuance in simple lines. I also got a much better sense of the underlying form, which is critical if I want the texture and detail to enhance the piece instead of looking weird and off. This is why my earlier work is so plain - I tried to understand the structure under the surface, but I just wasn't getting it well enough. (Especially with fabric, which I very much need to sit down and study.) I have half a mind to go back and redo some of my old stuff from last year, perhaps when I'm recovering from NaNoWriMo.
See you later, instigator: Daisuke Takahashi - big pictureoudeteron on October 18th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
You're doing NaNo again this year? Good luck! I considered it to get a move on with one of my non-fandom-related writing projects, but...I had a thesis deadline not long ago and I guess NOW I need to recover. (The fact that I'm already in my Master's and having reports/write-ups to do every day doesn't help, haha.)

Anyway, keep the good work coming. :D
The Heavy Metal Matador: Kuribo's Shoerydain on October 19th, 2012 04:46 am (UTC)
Ayyyyyup! I'm rebooting Arise, the modern legend of Cao Cao I started last year. I had fun and got some good on-the-fly ideas to repurpose, but it was mostly an exercise in learning just how much more research and plotting I had to do. My basic premise made sense, but I needed a stronger conceptualization of the setting to develop it in proper detail. Writing historical fiction was a good precursor to this. I had to keep siphoning information - all sorts, not just what seemed directly relevant to my questions - and hashing out ideas until I turned a corner and felt I could plausibly extrapolate on my own. I have a much better outline and a satisfactory concept of the overall plot from beginning to end, whereas last year I went into NaNo with a vague Act 1, a collection of entertaining scene ideas, and a prayer that more substance would magically poof into place.

Hooray for met deadlines! I hope your other work is proceeding well. I couldn't imagine doing NaNo on top of the demands of higher academia.