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Art's Art

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Hello all.

I've been an artist since early 2012, drawing mainly a group of fox and equine characters. So due to some lackluster Watching and Favoriting of my art it's clear that I need some help. So, this thread is going to include some of my recent furry art.

For more examples of my art please see here: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/artvulpine/ (This is not for self-promotion but to aid in the critiquing process)
I have purchased so far Draw Furry as my reference guide for furry art and a book on anatomy drawing for comics and graphic novels. I currently use GIMP and a Wacom Bamboo Tablet. In terms of process, I sketch the drawings on paper, scan and upload onto GIMP and then trace and color because I have difficulty drawing from scratch on a computer.

So let me show you some recent art:

10444355@400-1366831655.jpg


11573988@200-1378754750.jpg


11724147@200-1380570715.jpg


Please offer any helpful advice you can so that I may improve! Thanks!
 

Schwimmwagen

Well-Known Member
The best I can give you would be this: http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-draw-learn

There's a bit of talk plus a lot of links and book recommendations that will help you out, should you choose to apply it. I think the best thing for you to do is to take a look at constructive form of 3D Primitives, perspective, and a bit of lighting as a start.

Boring stuff, I know, but you'll thank yourself for taking those steps in the future. I recommend you set a bare minimum of an hour every day to practise and gradually improve.
 

Schwimmwagen

Well-Known Member
Thanks for those links.

And best of luck with your work!

Don't be afraid to start a sketchbook thread, so long as you're going over the exercises to help you improve on the fundamentals. Update it every now and then, and people here would likely be happy to drop their two cents every now and then.

If I may ask, how often exactly do you draw?

Personally I draw every day and improvement gradually happens. Think of it this way - to get that one good drawing that shows that you've improved on something, you need to do 100 drawings. If you do 1 drawing per day, it will take you 100 days. However, if you do 100 drawings in a day, that one drawing will come so much quicker and so will the rest of your possible improvements.

Those aren't the actual numbers of course, but you get the idea. The more you draw and conciously try to improve, the faster you'll improve. The less you draw, the rustier you get, and the slower you'll improve. In fact, if you draw so little you may fail to see improvements at all.

So yep, draw and work on fundamental exercises as often as you can!
 

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Well, I do intend to upload more here occasionally to show progress.

I usually sketch in spurts of 2-3 per week. Once I scan them, I typically finish drawing about 1-2 per week.
 

Schwimmwagen

Well-Known Member
Well, I do intend to upload more here occasionally to show progress.

I usually sketch in spurts of 2-3 per week. Once I scan them, I typically finish drawing about 1-2 per week.

If you really do want progress and improvement, I really do insist that you draw much more often than that.

It's not that you have to come up with new ideas every time so you can do fully finished pictures - do lots of studies. Some of which take mere minutes.

Gesture drawing exercises, for example.
 
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Judge Spear

Well-Known Member
One other thing. You may want to provide larger files so we can see every minor detail (because the bottom one is teeny tiny).
If you're afraid they're too big for the page, links to larger images are welcome. Though being an art critique thread, I doubt many will care about huge sizes. Good luck!
 

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Thanks for that link about gestures. I do little techniques too but as for full art it's about 2-3 per day and the 1-2 per week to fully do (lines and color)

So here is another drawing I did around the same time as those I posted above:

empyrean_by_kitsune85-d6mk7l8.png


Yeah, that's the second largest sized picture I could find (the biggest being if you chose Full View). Oh, and as you can see I draw more cartoon styled furries rather than realistic ones. Maybe one day I will draw a realistic type.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
It might help if you posted studies related to the advice given to you, so people don't feel like they are wasting time trying to help you
 

FireFeathers

Mr. Red Flag
Most immediate thing I spot is your line weight- it's all the same. Sorta like drawing with your pencil pressed hard against the paper, you're only going to make one line- the variation and interesting qualities from line strokes comes from it's variations to imply light, form and shading.
http://painting-course.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/line-variation-braid-med.jpg This image shows some line variation by having thicker, bolder lines to imply shadow, and very light, thin lines (and in some cases, no line at all) to imply the light- together it gives these--almond---flower things some form.

It doesn't seem like your pressure sensitivity's working on your tablet. The lines also seem to be on the same layer as the color- if you put your lines above your background (with no white space on them), and color under it, you won't have to futz around with those annoying little white wedges that form when the pixels of your image are too small for your fill-bucket to care about. Don't worry about styling. Don't worry about...only doing cartoon forms (because you're shooting yourself in the foot doing that, we've all been there and all spout the same war-stories of being artistically handicapped from only drawing anime, thinking that's gonna define our world)

You have to understand the world before you start interpreting it. Stick with realistic studies, it helps, I promise. I run a group livestream still-life paint a thon critique thing occasionally on my livestream channel, you should join us.
 

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Thanks for the information.

Strange you mention that the lines seem the same as the background, because what I do is make a three Layer set up for my art: first a Line Layer for all lines (Foreground and background), then a Layer for Foreground Color, and then lastly a Layer for Background colors. The downside is having to zoom in to check for any white spots (typically I draw at 25% because of my large monitor then expand to 50% to get the details)
 
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Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Gimp isn't the issue. Not doing foundational studies is. Gimp will still be there :p

I'm sorry but people have said multiple times to do certain studies, and you keep looking at the symptoms (your art program) as the cause.
 

Schwimmwagen

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the information.

Strange you mention that the lines seem the same as the background, because what I do is make a three Layer set up for my art: first a Line Layer for all lines (Foreground and background), then a Layer for Foreground Color, and then lastly a Layer for Background colors. The downside is having to zoom in to check for any white spots (typically I draw at 25% because of my large monitor then expand to 50% to get the details)

My question to all now is regarding GIMP. Do you think that this is hindering my art in any way? I know practicing and learning to draw are the big things, but I'm debating getting another art program.

I think you should take away the programs and draw on paper for a while. At your level you could do without being bogged down by learning how to use certain programs (as well as save your money for now) and instead learn sketching fundamentals with a pencil and pad. You're attempting to come out with linework straight away without understanding basic form and using sketches as a guideline.

To answer your question, Paint Tool SAI is really popular and is very simple and easy. Manga Studio 5, while slightly more complex, is gaining popularity and it is my personal favourite out of all programs I've tried. They're both similar prices ($60ish?) but the EX version of Manga Studio is much more expensive. Miles cheaper than Photoshop, however.

And again, take everyone's advice. Right now you're posting again asking for help, and you're not showing us that you've even attempted to do foundational studies. In my own sketchbook thread, while I was reluctant to post my studies I still did them. It's okay if you don't like how your studies are turning out, but if you want tips, you're going to have to show us. It also helps that you show us that you're actually trying to improve at the same time, so as Arshes said, it doesn't feel like we're wasting our breath by giving you advice and resources.
 
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Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Alright all.

Apologies to those who think that I've been ignoring your advice. In reality every art I draw is an art study, and I post such art here to show progress of anything from form to coloring to shading. I do sketch my art first by hand before scanning it, uploading it on GIMP and then retracing and coloring it creating the finished product. So I was basically posting what I had as a reference point. I am definitely not ignoring your information as every bit helps for me.

I've never said "GIMP is why my art is bad." I mentioned it here (which I see was a bad mistake) because I wanted to gauge what others used. Again, not as a symptom but added advice on that.

I'm kind of surprised how I need to go back to square one with drawing as I thought I was past that stage. I think thought that is my problem, going right to trying to draw full fledged figures. But if that will help me with my art, then I'd be happy to start from the beginning and show things like simple sketches of shapes.

So I'll be posting those soon so you all can see how things are going. Thanks for the advice so far, and I'll be posting those examples soon.
 

Schwimmwagen

Well-Known Member
Alright all.

Apologies to those who think that I've been ignoring your advice. In reality every art I draw is an art study, and I post such art here to show progress of anything from form to coloring to shading. I do sketch my art first by hand before scanning it, uploading it on GIMP and then retracing and coloring it creating the finished product. So I was basically posting what I had as a reference point. I am definitely not ignoring your information as every bit helps for me.

I've never said "GIMP is why my art is bad." I mentioned it here (which I see was a bad mistake) because I wanted to gauge what others used. Again, not as a symptom but added advice on that.

I'm kind of surprised how I need to go back to square one with drawing as I thought I was past that stage. I think thought that is my problem, going right to trying to draw full fledged figures. But if that will help me with my art, then I'd be happy to start from the beginning and show things like simple sketches of shapes.

So I'll be posting those soon so you all can see how things are going. Thanks for the advice so far, and I'll be posting those examples soon.

I really hate to appear as if I'm slamming you here, but what are you studying? Practise isn't a study. A study is when you're actually looking at something that exists and doing an exercise relevant to it. The exercise after the study is the practise. If these were studies, your anatomy work would at least have some improvement in the most basic aspects. The three major masses, for example. I can't even see an attempt of yours to make anything look three-dimensional. I kinda doubt that you really took time to read/watch resources given to you previously and focus on what they teach you. If I'm wrong, then I'm sorry for assuming otherwise. But I'm afraid that it's not easy to see in what you've posted.

I know this is really boring (and not easy, either), but you really should consider drawing more ordinary things that sit in front of you.

Sections 2 and 3 of Ctrl Paint contain great info on sketching. 5 and 6 are good to look at, too. Proko has a good introduction to 3D form. His videos also extend to gesture drawing, construction, and so on.

You remind me of me when I first started here and my art didn't look much different to yours, and I felt more or less the same way as you do in regards to recieving this kind of feedback, but it wasn't until I really sat down and looked at these fundamentals and did a lot of practise that I started making an improvement to speak of. I'm not even that good at it yet.

And please post sketches. Colour and ink are things that I personally recommend working on later. If you really want feedback on colour and lines - the colour is very bold, vivid, and garish and in-your-face. Your lines are consistently the same weight and wobbly. But before you can do furry art, dragons, cars, space marines, knights, and castles, you're going to need to understand bricks, spoons, balls, and teacups. Everybody does. You have to learn to read Thomas the Tank Engine books before you can move on to The Lord of The Rings or whatever.

I also get that you want to draw in a more stylised way. This is okay. I like Glen Keane's work the most. I also like different takes on the general direction his work is in, such as Robin Mitchell. But don't forget that all your fave artists who produce good stylised work have always kept a close eye on realism and things that exist in the real world. It's not that you have to do incredible photorealistic pencil portraits of yourself or anything, but you have to look at how things are really formed and how they work before you can really mess about with them.

Don't stop drawing, but please seriously consider doing the painfully boring barebones basic things. And you're going to have to do it a lot.

Have fun with it, too. When I draw and do the "serious" things, I always draw some pretty dumb nonsensical over-simplified shit at the same time. Do some play, do some work. It's a healthy balance that will keep you improving, and also enjoying it in itself. And when you do make those improvements, you'll look back on your old work and feel immensely satisified in the leap you've just made.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Post your studies please, with the amount of time spent on writing these explanations you could have had a few more drawings under your belt.
 

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Ok, enough with writing. Here are a few sketches of things I drew last night:

1383226625.artvulpine_sketches_1.jpg


So as you can see there are bare bones 3D shapes on the left side and common objects I could find around me on the right.

1383227123.artvulpine_sketches_2.jpg


These are things not found in front of me but are drawn from memory.
 

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
Ok, now we can see where you're getting at. One of the things I noticed is that you need to work on your line quality. The traditional studies show the problem well. If you look at how you're shading or drawing, you're drawing hairy lines. So let's do some basic things not to make the lines less hairy

http://sevencamels.blogspot.com/2009/05/walt-stanchfield-bookdon-hahn.html

So first. Slow down. Don't rush through a study, take your time to make it accurate.
Next. there's nothing wrong with using a ruler or ellipse/circular stencil

http://www.amazon.com/Alvin-and-Co-Isometric-Template/dp/B000KNLRA4/
http://www.amazon.com/Sketching-Strathmore-Stencil-Prismacolor-Pencils/dp/B00B8YKK4I/

A large french curve set is actually good because if large enough you'll start feeling how your arm moves to make sweeping gestures against the curves. That helps you learn how to position your hand. Do some with the set, make the same gesture without it.

Do some shading practices. This book is free, it may not have pretty binding or text - but it does have some good exercises to get better with shading.

The Elements of Drawing; in Three Letters to Beginners

http://books.google.com/books?id=M-A_PXe59MIC&client=firefox-a&pg=PA5#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://www.artyfactory.com/portraits/pencil-portraits/pencil-shading-techniques.html

You don't have to use inks or watercolors, but pencil will do just so you can learn how to shade in a more consistent fashion.

One good exercise is to draw something in front of you, take your time, then remove the object and try drawing it again from memory, instead of just trying to draw randomly from memory, use the same object to complete both exercises for comparison.
 

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
I watched the video on drawing 3D items. I'll be working on more drawing of simple objects later today as well as some shading techniques.

For now, let me place here a sketch example of a furry that I created a few days ago.

1383237638.artvulpine_art_sketch.jpg


Edit: I have returned with another art study.

1383243240.artvulpine_sketch_3.jpg


I attempted to do the Cube Study from Proko as well as some shading techniques. I also tried to do a perspective study with that wall image in the top right.
 
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Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
New day with some more sketches:

1383319010.artvulpine_sketch_4.jpg


Once again I tried shapes at different angles and some common objects.
 

Schwimmwagen

Well-Known Member
Keep at it!

I suggest rewatching the videos and taking a closer look at the forms you're dealing with, though. You're drawing impossible-looking cubes and cones and the Proko video explains this. It's as if you're drawing what you think you see rather than what you actually see. Someone says draw a cube, and you draw your idea of a cube. Instead you want to really look at a cube line for line, form for form, and how the lighting reacts to it as well as use perspective. Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is devoted to this idea. There are likely other free online sources that deal with the subject just a google away.

As for the cones, you're right in thinking of the base of the cone as a flat circular shape, but you want it to exist in a 3D space and be part of the cone and be viewable and "make sense" at different angles. For this, I suggest learning about ellipses.

As for your lines, they are inaccurate, wobbly, insecure, "scratchy", and in some places appear to be rather heavy-handed. Mine were no different, but what you need to do is work on your line accuracy and line confidence. Think of nice, light, long strokes. Draw with arm movements, not finger movements. Note that this takes plenty of time and practise and you likely won't spot results in this long gradual process until you compare work from today to work... I dunno, a couple months in the future.

It also requires a concious effort to improve upon. If you're going to draw a square, say to yourself that you need 4 lines, not 17!

It's true that good sketches aren't perfectly clean, but what makes them appealing and readable lies in confident lines.

Have a look at this by Mike Mattesi:

24-animal%20designs.jpg


Really look at the lines and how they differ from yours. You can also see in the sketches how he used basic forms to draw what he drew. The horse being the best example IMO.

You may also want to look at Peter Han's videos on lines. Long, but informative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgDNDOKnArk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFVggG7ajXM

It's okay if this is too much to take in all at once, but it's quite common for people working on improving their art to refer to old resources, videos, and texts that they have already seen once or thrice to refresh their memory, pick up something they missed, or be re-instructed on an exercise they neglected previously or are currently trying to work on.

Keep working!
 
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Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
Thanks for all your help. Everything that I can get to help improve is appreciated: videos, examples, tutorials, etc. I'll continue more with the 3D shapes like more realistic boxes and cylinders. Also I'll work on constant lines (bad habit of me so draw lines and curves using multiple strokes of a pencil).
 

Art Vulpine

Art Vulpine
More sketches.

1383506901.artvulpine_sketch_5.jpg


Boxes, cones and using warping on cube shapes to create new shapes.

1383510550.artvulpine_sketch_6.jpg


More 3D shapes, blocking out an animal's form, and using shapes for a human torso.
 
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