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Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciated

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Hello everyone!
Quite recently I decided to go on the long journey called The Practice in order to get closer to the goal of Becoming a Better Artist. Now, this journey will take a lot of time, and I can't always know which is the right path. Therefore I'll frequently be discussing my journey here and listen to any thought, suggestion, idea and whatnot on how I can reach my goal.

Analogies aside, whenever i create something I'm intending to post it here in the thread with some of my thoughts about what I think of it. Now, I can't really demand feedback from anyone, but if you happen to see anything that just doesn't feel right, or if you have a suggestion how I could create something more efficiently, then feel free to post what's on your mind!


As of writing this post, I'll currently be focusing on sketching and drawing realistic lizards, or more specifically the common lizard Zootoca vivipara with the help of photos. As I don't have much experience yet, I'll often be sketching specific parts of its body in order to get a better understanding of proportions and what they actually look like. I'll be doing it the way I think is the most effective, but any advice how to do it even better are always welcome.
What do you see? What details do you see? How do you show those details in your art?

Eventually I'm also intending to continue delving deeper into the world of 3D-modeling and 3D-animations, but I haven't decided when that'll happen.

Of course all this is what's on my mind today, and in a month or two I might try a different creature, or a different theme, or maybe even a completely different art style so we'll see what happens in the future. Feel free to give suggestions whenever I decide to try something new.


Although before I post my images, is it better to upload the image to the thread itself, insert it from somewhere else on the web/from my Furaffinity account or just post a link to where my image is?
 

Maugryph

Member
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

Hello everyone!
Quite recently I decided to go on the long journey called The Practice in order to get closer to the goal of Becoming a Better Artist. Now, this journey will take a lot of time, and I can't always know which is the right path. Therefore I'll frequently be discussing my journey here and listen to any thought, suggestion, idea and whatnot on how I can reach my goal.

Analogies aside, whenever i create something I'm intending to post it here in the thread with some of my thoughts about what I think of it. Now, I can't really demand feedback from anyone, but if you happen to see anything that just doesn't feel right, or if you have a suggestion how I could create something more efficiently, then feel free to post what's on your mind!


As of writing this post, I'll currently be focusing on sketching and drawing realistic lizards, or more specifically the common lizard Zootoca vivipara with the help of photos. As I don't have much experience yet, I'll often be sketching specific parts of its body in order to get a better understanding of proportions and what they actually look like. I'll be doing it the way I think is the most effective, but any advice how to do it even better are always welcome.
What do you see? What details do you see? How do you show those details in your art?

Eventually I'm also intending to continue delving deeper into the world of 3D-modeling and 3D-animations, but I haven't decided when that'll happen.

Of course all this is what's on my mind today, and in a month or two I might try a different creature, or a different theme, or maybe even a completely different art style so we'll see what happens in the future. Feel free to give suggestions whenever I decide to try something new.


Although before I post my images, is it better to upload the image to the thread itself, insert it from somewhere else on the web/from my Furaffinity account or just post a link to where my image is?

You cant upload images directly on the forums. You will have to link them from your FA gallery or use something like photobucket.
 

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

Ok, thanks Maugryph. I'll do that then.

Now I do have a few things I've drawn already so let's post them here, shall we?

1438110398.berrybubbleblast_lizard_practice_sketch_1.jpg

Lizard practice sketch 1:
So this is the first one I sketched up as I began my journey as an artist. I tried to get a feeling for how to draw the proportion as well as some general implications of shadows, though I didn't get too far into that this time. The black part of its tail is because it's a regrowth.



1438185470.berrybubbleblast_lizard_head_sketch_2.jpg

Lizard head practice sketch 2
This time I decided to try and only draw what the head looks like with all its scales. The head was initally made too long, but I managed to fix it before I had drawn too many scales. It was the fact that the scales didn't match up which made me notice it in time. I also gave an attempt to make the eye seem more alive.


1438271068.berrybubbleblast_lizard_feet_practice_sketch_3.jpg

Lizard feet practice sketch 3

This was a simple attempt at only drawing the feet. The stubby toe on the left foot is probably due to it being damaged. The left is a front foot and the right is a back foot.


1438360223.berrybubbleblast_lizard_patterns_practice_sketch_4.jpg

Lizard patterns practice sketch 4
An attempt to sketch an example of how the spotted patterns can look like. Technically there's even more spots across its back, but this'll do for this practice.

Apart from the fact that there should be more black spots, I kinda botched its size and didn't fully realize what was wrong until the end. It's actually too long, due to me making the head too large and using said head as a reference for how long the rest of the body should be. I think it's about 20% too long, though I'm not sure how visible it is to everyone.


1438617563.berrybubbleblast_lizard_stomach_scales_practice_sketch_5.jpg

Lizard stomach practice sketch 5
This is an attempt to sketch what the scales on the stomach looks like. The colouring is there to illustrate where the scales shift from white/brown to orange/yellow (which signifies it's a male), though the actual colour used isn't correct as it's supposed to be a much sharper orange. There should also be lots of black spots across the stomach, but they've been omitted for this practice sketch.

The wierd angle is due to the angle the lizard had in the photo I used as a reference.



Now, this bulk of pictures is just because I had several finished since last week. I won't have as many next time I post, though I can't promise anything in the long run. ;)

If you have any thoughts about these you wish to share, then go ahead. If you don't, then you won't have to force yourself to think of something just for the sake of it.
 

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

Here's something I sketched yesterday, which I didn't want to post then since that would've been too many images at once.


1438798337.berrybubbleblast_lizard_quick_practice_sketch_collage_scaled.jpg


Lizard quick practice sketch 6
This time I decided to do several quicker sketches instead of just one detailed sketch in order to focus more on the actual proportions than on how pretty they should look. If there's one thing which I've done wrong on several earlier images is that I made one or several parts too large/too small, so taking time to just get the shapes right is a requirement. It doesn't matter how much details I put into something, if the perspective is wrong, the entire image will always look wrong no matter how pretty it is.

The images themselves are all of the same lizard in the same position, but in different angles as I had several photos of him there.


Interesting insight, sketching anatomy
As I was looking into some sketching tutorials on Digital Tutors (which I visit all the time), one of them were about the Fundamentals of Drawing Animal Anatomy, which would suit me perfectly. However when I watched the first video, the instructor actually suggested I should learn how to draw the human anatomy before I jumped into animal anatomy. This due to the obvious fact that we're humans and it's easier to draw anatomy of ourselves than of other animals first, but also since it'll be easier to compare muscle groups, bones and body parts between us and an animal if you first know where they're located/work on yourself.

With this in mind I'll be sketching more of the human anatomy so I can get the basics right. However I don't think I'm allowed to post said sketches here as they're on some random naked (yes, naked) people I find on the internet. One might or might not recognize them, though the biggest concern is probably the real genitalia issue which I recall reading on a thread here that that's a no no. I'll see if I can mix human and lizard sketches in between so I'll have something to post here.


Final thought, no "personal style"
Oh, as a final thing I should mention is that don't have a "my personal style" yet. I'm not intending on having a "personal style" any time soon as I'm learning how to actually draw at all, unless you count drawing realistically that is. That said, it's prefectly fine to question my intention with drawing something the way I did as that'll help me consider a different, maybe more effective way of doing it.
 

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

1438961178.berrybubbleblast_lizard_form_practice_sketch_collage.jpg


Lizard form practice sketch 7
This is a little different from what I've done so far. Through a tutorial I watched about Capturing the Human Form Through Figure Drawing, I decided to try the same thing with a lizard. The idea with figure drawing is to first establish the overall pose with few basic lines of action. Then to try and capture the lizard's form and shape through different drawing exercises. Eventually you'll draw contour lines, shadows and blending said shadows to make them look more realistic. Now, I haven't actually gotten far enough to even begin drawing contours on these yet, but this is at least a few steps into the tutorial.

There are few key parts which the instructor repeatedly reminds you during the tutorial. One very important thing is that yes, it's going to look messy. Yes, some shapes and perspectives are going to be very awkward, but that's not what this tutorial is about. It's to help train your brain-hand coordination by doing so many sketches as possible. For each new sketch you draw, your hand and brain gets a little better at communicating with each others, something which will show up in the long run.

Another thing the instructor mentioned is that you should keep your pen continually moving and never release your pencil while you're drawing. This is to keep you from getting wrapped up in details as it's not meant to look pretty. It's meant to capture the overall form. Each individual lizard could maybe take between 3-6 minutes for me to sketch.

Here's a quote the instructor repeated every now and then to remind you:
"You don't want to draw what the subject looks like. You want to draw what your subject is doing"


Final thoughts
We'll see how I'll advance with this tutorial right now. The later parts are intended to be used in Photoshop and that might be going too far too soon for me. I'll be doing these at a pace I actually feel like I can handle for now. If anyone actually wishes to see this tutorial I'll post a link here. Keep in mind though this is a series where you must have a subscription account to watch, though you might be able to see enough steps in the tutorial with a free account.
http://www.digitaltutors.com/tutorial/1101-Capturing-the-Human-Form-Through-Figure-Drawing
 

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

That's great Joshi! I don't have any models just yet though, but I might be creating some soon. Whenever I've prepared one I'll make sure to post about it here.
 

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

1439215824.berrybubbleblast_lizard_3d2.jpg


Lizard 3D model 1
Ok, so now I've finally made my first simplistic 3D version of a lizard. I say simplistic as my current goal was to actually get a model, any model even so I'll at least have something to build upon. I tried to make it as large as the lizard I have on photo, though I don't have a "perfect" photo which shows everything I need in exact proportions and whatnot. Instead I had to look around the 100+ photos I have and do an estimate of what sizes the legs should be for example.

Most, if not everything will have to be revised in one way or another whenever I update it again. However feel free to give feedback if you see any obvious errors I've made, or if you know a more efficient way how to make certain parts. I'm not afraid to redo smaller or larger areas if that would end up with a better result at the end. In the long run I hope I'll have a good enough model so I can rig it for animations. Now whenever THAT'll happen is nothing I can predict today. I'll continue with what I have here first and we'll see whenever animations comes into play again. ... might do a quick-and-dirty rigging and animation just to see how my model works some day.


I've used 3ds Max (student version) to model this, though I could work with something else if anyone has any good argument why it would be better. I also intend to try out Substance Designer and Substance Painter to texture this later on. I bought them a while ago but never really used them yet, and this gives a great opportunity to do so.

More in the future!
 

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

1439398686.berrybubbleblast_everquest_2_practice_sketch_3_scaled.jpg



Everquest 2 quick practice sketch 3

I decided to do something different today compared to what I normally sketch. Instead of trying to do everything as accurately as possible, I decided to wander around in Everquest 2 and sketch whatever I felt like sketching, sketching without caring whether it'd turn good or bad. I thus ignored using my eraser at all, and if there were any bad lines or shapes, I'd just let them be there.

Although this contradicts with what I've said I want to do, it felt rather refreshing drawing something withouth any restrictions on myself that it has to be "super professionally made", or even a lizard for that matter. Doing something completely different made me feel a bit happier. :)

While sketching these I noticed something interesting since I began about two weeks ago. On this short time I feel I've already gotten better at drawing characters, shapes and making distinction between materials. Granted I've been doing different sketching exercises for about one hour every day. At first I only drew one rather detailed image on that hour, but as I switched over to quantity over quality, I had to think even more how each and every shape, muscle and body part actually looked like, which I believe greatly increased my drawing skills. ... I say "greatly" with moderation, or rather compared to myself from before. I know there's still a lot more to learn before I can be considered a great artist, but that's what this journey is all about! Every now and then you're allowed to praise yourself if you notice you're improving. A little personal feedback is always nice. :)

Oh, and before you say it, yes, he has six fingers. And no, he's not supposed to have six fingers. It just happened in the heat of the moment I guess.

I did a total of four sketches as I wandered around in the game. For those who wish to see the other three, they're right here.
Everquest 2 quick practice sketch 1
Everquest 2 quick practice sketch 2
Everquest 2 quick practice sketch 4
 

X_Joshi_X

Just another Metalhead
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

1439215824.berrybubbleblast_lizard_3d2.jpg


Lizard 3D model 1
Ok, so now I've finally made my first simplistic 3D version of a lizard. I say simplistic as my current goal was to actually get a model, any model even so I'll at least have something to build upon. I tried to make it as large as the lizard I have on photo, though I don't have a "perfect" photo which shows everything I need in exact proportions and whatnot. Instead I had to look around the 100+ photos I have and do an estimate of what sizes the legs should be for example.

Most, if not everything will have to be revised in one way or another whenever I update it again. However feel free to give feedback if you see any obvious errors I've made, or if you know a more efficient way how to make certain parts. I'm not afraid to redo smaller or larger areas if that would end up with a better result at the end. In the long run I hope I'll have a good enough model so I can rig it for animations. Now whenever THAT'll happen is nothing I can predict today. I'll continue with what I have here first and we'll see whenever animations comes into play again. ... might do a quick-and-dirty rigging and animation just to see how my model works some day.


I've used 3ds Max (student version) to model this, though I could work with something else if anyone has any good argument why it would be better. I also intend to try out Substance Designer and Substance Painter to texture this later on. I bought them a while ago but never really used them yet, and this gives a great opportunity to do so.

More in the future!

Thats a good low poly model. The proportions fit to a middle sized lizard. Looks good.

I would really really recommend taking a look into blender. I switched from Cinema 4D to blender and was blown away by how simple and yet complex it is. Its worth a look and the Cycles render engine is one of the most powerful I've ever seen
 

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

Do you happen to know if it's equally useful when rigging and animating as well? Or would you say modeling is its strong point? I'll take a look and play around with it either way when I get time for it. Thanks for the advice and feedback!
 

DrGravitas

Member
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

I agree with X_Joshi_X, that is a great low poly mesh!

Although I have little experience working in Blender directly, and none with Cinema4D, I do know that Blender is quite good and feature rich. However, 3ds Max is too. I use Maya, which is owned by Autodesk just like 3ds max (they tend to buy up a lot of competition). Really, comparing them gets complicated and I don't know enough about Blender to really compare them very well. Maya does fur, Blender does fur, 3ds Max does fur, but they all do fur a little different. Except when they use a fur plug-in that's available cross-platform, I guess. Also, like a number of things, you get different technologies for ways of doing the same things even within the same software (Maya actually has at least 3 different ways to do fur.)


Maya (and I assume 3ds Max) has fantastic documentation and amazing customer service reps.

But hey! Blender is free and open source!


You might check out this Blender feature page. It gives you a excellent idea of what Blender is capable of! And why not, here's the feature pages for 3ds Max and Maya, too because Autodesk's website is terrible and it's impossible to find this stuff anymore. Blender is powerful, flexible, and does a whole lot. The only thing I can really say against it is I hate its user interface and control scheme. I love my Maya, but now that they (and 3ds Max) have moved to a subscription service, I'll probably be moving to Blender once Maya 2015 gets too old to bear. Hopefully that's not for a long time.

If you're still relatively fresh with 3ds, I would also suggest the switch to Blender.
 
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BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

I'll certainly try it out then. I'll even try to recreate my lizard model in it and see how well it goes.

If anything, my student license will eventually end either way, and unless I'm willing to invest way too much money into a fully licensed program, I'd have to find an alternate solution anyway. Might just as well jump onto the Blender train and get used to it as soon as possible. If I ever get a job which demands otherwise, well I'll just take care of that then. Thanks for the links and the feedback DrGravitas!
 

Maugryph

Member
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

Blender has a frustating UI BUT when you get used to it, you can polygonal model very quickly. The skin modifier is awesome and is the closest thing to Zspheres at the moment, allowing you to prototype a model rather quickly.
 

DrGravitas

Member
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

Blender can actually import .3ds files! So, you won't even have to start over on it, just import it and save it as the local file type.

It's funny, actually, somehow .3ds became something of a defacto-standard for cross-platform compatible 3D files although there are a lot of other things out there like .obj. In fact, importing .3ds to Blender and saving to .obj (which Maya can import) is the most common thing I do with Blender at the moment :p You'd think that now that Autodesk owns both, they'd have the ability to import files between the two as a built-in standard feature.
 

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

I could import the model directly to Blender, but I actually want to remake it again. I see it as both a challenge and an opportunity to familiarize myself with Blender and how it works as I already know how it's created. It was a simple model anyway so I don't see it as a loss.
 

BerryBubbleBlast

Artist who wishes to improve
Re: Sketches, drawings, and eventually 3D-models; feedback/critique always appreciate

Human practice sketches 1-4
I'm still practicing my sketching techniques even though I'm also dabbling in 3D-modeling. I do have some recent ones from yesterday and today which are of humans actually. Though I'll have to include them as links instead of showing the pictures themselves as they are naked.

[NSFW]
Human practice sketch 1
[NSFW] Human practice sketch 2
[NSFW]
Human practice sketch 3
[NSFW]
Human practice sketch 4

Once again I made a slightly different approach when sketching these. As I sketched I once again avoided using my eraser at all, but I also tried to do it as accurately as possible, focusing on proportions, volume, and shapes rather than shadows or details. This is to make sure I won't get caught drawing things which would only take more time than it's worth right now. I still need to learn how to draw realistic bodies before I try to make them pretty. Due to this, there'll be extra lines here and there which doesn't seem to fit in with the image. Those lines are left there as a reminder on what I thought was the correct proportions at first before I redrew it. Maybe not the prettiest, but right now they help me with figuring out what the body actually should look like.

The people from these images are all from a series of croquis pictures from Croquis Cafe [NSFW] which I find very useful as I try to learn the human body, both males and females. Although there'll surely be images with more exposed genitalia, I'm not completely certain if it matters whether I post them here or not given the relatively small images I sketch. If anyone has any concrete ruling on this, then please do tell.

Anyhow, I'll continue to practice sketching in between my 3D-modeling. Or maybe I should think of it as doing 3D-modeling in between my practice sketches? Sketching is something I'll be doing either way, though is there any particular techniques or any particular style you think I should try out? Currently I'm just jumping between this and that in hope I'll learn something from it. If anyone has anything you think I might find useful I'd appreciate if you shared it.
 
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