Thursday, January 2, 2014

Older and wiser, or just more patient

I used to get really frustrated, wanting many things out of a painting but not knowing a specific technique to get everything I wanted out of it. 
Working in black and white never converted well into colour.
Working straight in colour was visually vibrant but usually fell prey to weaker drawing skills.
Lining things first either ended up coloured with the lasso tool, which is useful was definitely less fun when it came to rendering materials. 

Looking back, it didn't seem like I was getting *better*, just that I was doing *different things*

There were one, maybe two occasions where everything seemed to come together. In every single one of those instances, I'd painted the picture twice. Once til I got tired of it and went away, and a second time with a fresh idea,different spin or a new set of techniques. 

Inspiration's not dependable, and I've been racking my brain for the longest time to try and figure out how to tame this beast and put out consistent, good work. 


Warming up, thumbnailing, research, reference, prep studies. If you can, DO. They ALWAYS directly improve the picture, even if they're easy to ignore 'I know what snow looks like' 


You want to draw everything out? Go right ahead. You want to throw down big shapes in greys to get your values? Knock yourself out. There is no cheating, there is nobody holding your hand. Ten hours into a painting and a hand looks iffy? cut it out and redraw! It's NEVER TOO LATE, and you can build that into your workflow. It's just how neat you keep your layers that'll set you apart. 
You prefer the line tool in GIMP? Switch it up! I've a real tendency to stick to just PS, but every time I go outside my comfort zone I find something awesome in SAI, GIMP, Illustrator, Flash or Painter. Well worth exploring. They're all just tools, and all are applicable and could save you hours down the line. There is a good/fast balance to be struck. If you find yourself becoming a one-trick-pony it's time to kick down those walls because that way lies stagnation, ain't nobody got time for that! 


It's like a roast chicken- if you can, let it breathe. You can see mistakes, have ideas for a last minute glaze that might *MAKE* the picture. THEN, when you've seen it with fresh eyes, show the world your awesome artings!


I've done 10 hour paintings, and ditched the last 8 hours of the painting because I thought the rougher version was better. Overkilling a painting is often an eyesore to look at, especially when you see the amazing things that get done in the 30 minute spitpaints over on Facebook. 

I'd strongly recommend them for anyone who wants to up their speed. But what I'm looking for from myself now is GOOD_FINISHED_ART on a consistent basis, and that takes longer than 30 minutes. 

I'll do another post on the big project that I'm working on during my weekly streams- would be interested to hear any feedback ye have. 

In the name of shameless plugging, they're every Monday at 8.30 at

and here's some of the work I've been doing in them. Feel free to drop by or spread the word ;)

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