scratching the surface

Archive for November 2009

hed2smal :(

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2009_0021, originally uploaded by guerillustrate.

Been looking at a LOT of painting lately. Been looking at a LOT of anatomy lately. Been looking at value even MORE than that!

I don’t want to get ahead of myself or let my head get too big. But I feel like I am making just GARGANTUAN steps forward in my art skill. The funny thing is that I’m not really drawing or painting that much. I’m just STUDYING. I’m just looking closely at other people’s stuff over and over and over and over until my eyeballs hurt. Then when I finally sit down with some paper or a blank screen, it all just comes out.

I’m telling you, 85% of what you need to do to learn art has absolutely nothing to do with your hands. It goes like this:

60% looking at art and real life objects and studying what you see
25% being able to recall and mentally visualize all those things you’ve studied
10% drawing
5% painting

And of that 60% of time you should spend looking, here’s what you should be looking at:

1. composition
2. perspective
3. tonal value
4. silhouette, shape, form
6. line and contour
7. the differing effect of light on matte and glossy surfaces
8. colour
9. texture and fine detail
10. style

I have listed these things from BIG to SMALL, because you should be painting them in that order. And in a sense that’s the order of importance you should place on them too. If you can master the first 5 you should be able to paint something masterful to at LEAST 50% completion. If you master the last 5, you can probably render some nice textures and patterns, but everything you try to paint will look like garbage.

Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t mastered ANY of them. But I see their importance in relative terms. You must master ALL of them to be a great artist, but you can’t focus on the bells and whistles without knowing the basics.

That’s how I see it anyway. Take it or leave it.


Written by zee

November 20, 2009 at 11:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized


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2009_0020, originally uploaded by guerillustrate.

Did a quick speedpaint tonight. Should’ve made a decent sketch before I started painting, but oh well… such is the price one pays for laziness.

But MAN, I’ve been learning a CRAZY amount of stuff lately! I’m totally getting this painting thing now. I’m on some next level business now. I’m definitely gonna be doing a lot of paints this next while.

First of all, we had a holiday on Wednesday here for Remembrance Day, so I had the day off and I was at home when some Jehova’s Witnesses came to the door. It’s the same two every so often, always coming by to drop off their little magazines. Generally I’m just shootin breeze, takin a looksee at what they got and in a few minutes they go. No harm done to no one. But I flipped through one of the little thingers they gave me and there’s this page of illustrations that are just DEADLY. Now, I can’t be sure, but it sort of looks like they might just be traced over stock photos of people… but regardless of how the original artist did it (unfortunately no credit is listed for the illustration), the VALUES and the COLOURS are just laid out like arithmetic. It’s just phenomenal how something ALMOST photorealistic can be portrayed with such economy of colours. So I just sat and studied these picture for like 2 hours. I put the magazine down and went to bed, but I got it. I got what was going on in there. Though I may not be able to reproduce it yet, I know what it is now.

And I also finally signed up to Mostly because I thought I had to sign up to download this one video off the forum, only to find out afterward that you actually have to pay for it whether you’re a member or not. SLAP.

Anyhow, been pouring over the forums and there is some GOLD in there. Particularly Steven Stahlberg’s overpaints correcting/making suggestions to other artist’s work. Just fantastic learning material to be had. I’ve probably spent a total of at least 10 hours this week studying that stuff. I am back in school like nobody’s business.

Anyway, despite how poor this speedpaint is, I can definitely see where the wealth of knowledge I have harvested the last few weeks is coming into play.

Also, painting lots on my DS is making a difference too. It’s totally changed my photoshop workflow. Brushes is for bells, textures are whistles; the hard and fast of it is a solid round brush. That’s ALL you need for the basis of a good paint. The rest is just cherries on the top.

I get it now. I get this painting business. FINALLY. Can’t wait to start putting it to use and getting some RESULTS!

Written by zee

November 13, 2009 at 8:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized