scratching the surface

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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

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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

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2009_0019, originally uploaded by guerillustrate.

Saw Mastodon tonight. That was pretty rad. I love that band. I missed Converge though which really sucks. Stupid show started WAAY to early (and way too on time! Since when do shows start on time?!!).

Anyway. Came back to the office and at about midnight started doodling in photoshop and reading blogs on the internet. Part of me wishes I went home and went to bed because now it’s 5:50 in the morning and I already came into work late TODAY, I don’t want to make it two days in a row! But another part of me is extremely satisfied with the progress I’m making with my photoshop skills. I’m quite proud of the the state I managed to push this piece to. Generally all my paints are really rough and nowhere near a finished stage. This one feels much more complete and fully rendered to me.

This picture makes me think of a pin-up girl done in the style of an air-brushed lifesavers candies advertisement. I don’t know. The little shiny reflections make me think of candy. I’m hungry and tired. I’m going home.

She also reminds me of Debbie Harry. Did I spell her name right? the Y and IE is like interchangeable. It could very well be Debby Harrie and I’d never know the difference by listening to it! Regardless of spelling, the resemblance is incidental; I didn’t use any reference.

Written by zee

October 8, 2009 at 11:56 am

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what manner of beast doth beckon?

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ZEEspacetime, originally uploaded by guerillustrate.

This I did as a last-minute entry for a competition on a blog I read. But I didn’t even place in the competition, hahaha. But that’s okay. I did it really fast and it’s in a pretty rough stage yet, so I really wasn’t expecting anything anyhow. I just wanted to enter to say that I did it, and I did! Also, quite frankly I like this piece anyway. SO I WIN ANYWAY!!!

At a future date I’d like to clean this one up, and maybe change the visor reflection to something more evil! It could be good!

Written by zee

October 8, 2009 at 11:47 am

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2009_0017, originally uploaded by guerillustrate.

Sorry, haven’t had time to work on that wolf piece. REALLY busy these days! I’ve been working on mastering an album that should be done within the week, so I’ll get back to that piece soon. However, in the meantime, here’s a quick speedpaint I did today. Maybe just over 30 minutes. Playing with brushes. I made this one using the dual-brush option and selecting two splattery-looking images. I kind of like the result. Might start doing more pieces in a similar style. Anyway, gotta go! BUSY BUSY!

Written by zee

October 6, 2009 at 2:21 am

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diagnosis:incomplete, originally uploaded by guerillustrate.

progress is being made, but the title says it all. The devil is in the details after all…

Also, I’d like to get some feedback on how people are liking the idea of posting the progress of a piece. Is it a boring waste of time, or is it interesting? I always thought it would be awesome if artists showed their process more but maybe it’s just too self-indulgent. Anyhow, since I’ve started, I will continue posting progress on this piece until it’s done. No turning back now! But if people are not stoked on it I will discontinue said practice for future pieces. So yeah, just shout; I’m listening.

Written by zee

September 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm

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deliver me unto thy destroyer.

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deliver, originally uploaded by guerillustrate.

Okay, so assuming that you’ve been avidly following my progress on this girl+wolf piece, then the good news is I have an update for you. The bad news is I’ve made very little progress on it. Frankly, I’ve been lazy and haven’t been working on this thing as much as I should. Anyhow, this is where it stands. Far from complete, but certainly over the hump. I feel like the atmosphere and mood of the environment is finally going in the right direction. Time to tighten it up.

Written by zee

September 17, 2009 at 10:06 am

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