amazing custom water/light reference tool
online perspective manager/maker
Belated art trade for magicbunnyart of her mascot!
I stared coloring my sketch… then I got carried away and finished the whole thing, whoops
Sketch trade with charcoalfeathers !!
Some harsh but very very true words
When people let me review their portfolios (on career day or open days at my game design school) I explicitly ban them from commenting during the review… …because otherwise they will follow the impulse to downplay everything I see in an attempt at being humble.
"this is an old image…"
"I’m not happy with that one…"
"this is just a sketch…"
"I did this really quickly…"
"there is better stuff on later pages…"
It’s totally understandable to have those impulses. The quality of art is not empirical data and therefore impossible to measure. Good art, bad art, it all comes down to standards. And you don’t want to come off as naive or self-absorbed.
But just don’t do it. Don’t talk yourself down in front of others. In the best case you have someone supportive who now thinks “damn, this person needs to be prepped up all the time. Do I really want to work with somebody like that” or in worst case “now that you say it, yeah, this is kinda lame/rushed/unfinished/lazy, go away.”
You can only submit what you have. If that is not enough, then it’s not enough. Your attitude will not change that. But if it is enough, you can do serious harm by not being confident of who you are now.
This means appreciating what you are able to do right now and have a clear vision of what you want to learn, be confident that you will learn it in time.
This is really important. Eliminate this urge. Eliminate it professionally, when having contact with people in a position to buy your work. Eliminate it socially, when you just share your work for fun. Destroy this urge as thoroughly as you possibly can.
Because when you have done that, you’ll find that you feel at least 25% less shitty about your own work. You lose the urge to do it. You stop reinforcing those negative thoughts, and they retreat. They may never go away completely (although they might!) but this is good practice for ignoring those thoughts flat-out.
Don’t shit-talk yourself. Even if you can’t be SO PROUD, don’t ever try to influence anyone’s opinion toward your work in the negative.
Try to love your work. Try to see what you learned from each piece, even if it’s a failure. If you feel that you learned nothing, appreciate the fact that just spending time on it is honing your skills and giving you valuable practice.
i used to be super not-confident in my own work. When I stopped pointing out the flaws in my own stuff, I felt better about it almost immediately.
The piece of advice I got that helped me the most with this is; the people looking at your work be it your director or an HR person, trust them to know and see the good work there that you’ve become desensitized to. We all have rushed shots and stuff, they can see the polished diamond inside of a rock, it’s literally their job! So don’t fret too much!
Drawing from films
Drawing from films is a ridiculously useful exercise. It’s not enough to watch films; it’s not enough to look at someone else’s drawings from films. If you want to be in story, there’s no excuse for not doing this.
The way this works: you draw tons of tiny little panels, tiny enough that you won’t be tempted to fuss about drawing details. You put on a movie - I recommend Raiders, E.T., or Jaws… but honestly if there’s some other movie you love enough to freeze frame the shit out of, do what works for you. It’s good to do this with a movie you already know by heart.
Hit play. Every time there’s a cut, you hit pause, draw the frame, and hit play til it cuts again. If there’s a pan or camera move, draw the first and last frames.
Note on movies: Spielberg is great for this because he’s both evocative and efficient. Michael Bay is good at what he does, but part of what he does is cut so often that you will be sorry you picked his movie to draw from. Haneke is magnificent at what he does, but cuts so little that you will wind up with three drawings of a chair. Peter Jackson… he’s great, but not efficient. If you love a Spielberg movie enough to spend a month with it, do yourself a favor and use Spielberg.
What to look for:
- Foreground, middle ground, background: where is the character? What is the point of the shot? What is it showing? What’s being used as a framing device? How does that help tie this shot into the geography of the scene? Is the background flat, or a location that lends itself to depth?
- Composition: How is the frame divided? What takes up most of the space? How are the angles and lines in the shot leading your eye?
- Reusing setups, economy: Does the film keep coming back to the same shot? The way liveaction works, that means they set up the camera and filmed one long take from that angle. Sometimes this includes a camera move, recomposing one long take into what look like separate shots. If you pay attention, you can catch them.
- Camera position, angle, height: Is the camera fixed at shoulder height? Eye height? Sitting on the floor? Angled up? Down? Is it shooting straight on towards a wall, or at an angle? Does it favor the floor or the ceiling?
- Lenses: wide-angle lens or long lens? Basic rule of thumb: If the character is large in frame and you can still see plenty of their surroundings, the lens is wide and the character is very close to camera. If the character’s surroundings seem to dwarf them, the lens is long (zoomed in).
- Lighting: Notice it, but don’t draw it. What in the scene is lit? How is this directing your eye? How many lights? Do they make sense in the scene, or do they just FEEL right?
This seems like a lot to keep in mind, and honestly, don’t worry about any of that. Draw 100 thumbnails at a time, pat yourself on the back, and you will start to notice these things as you go.
Don’t worry about the drawings, either. You can see from my drawings that these aren’t for show. They’re notes to yourself. They’re strictly for learning.
Now get out there and do a set! Tweet me at @lawnrocket and I’ll give you extra backpats for actually following through on it. Just be aware - your friends will look at you super weird when you start going off about how that one shot in Raiders was a pickup - it HAD to be - because it doesn’t make sense except for to string these other two shots together…
I’m not an artist, but I have more than a few friends who are, so I thought this might be a good thing to post.
Hi friends, I still need to post up something about my recent Iceland trip (which I forgot to let you know about! I went to Iceland! The photo above is of Haystack, a little needle-felted friend who came with me for the journey) but since I got back there’s been a lot on my mind about art practice, and I’ve been trying to think of how we make and especially when you make art for a living there’s some weird things you have to navigate as you get deeper into it. Such as making work for yourself versus for a client and letting it not ‘be’ for anything but for making it, learning when and where you need to switch things up to keep it stimulating for yourself, how to go back and shake yourself out of the bad habits you’ve built up over years, how to keep patient when you just want to move onto the next thing, how to stoke excitement when art feels like work, and the like.
I’ve been doing some sleuthing online and a lot of the advice given is geared towards beginners and is a little more technically dry than I’d like. But I do think there’s some good things to mine from it; lately I’ve been trying to think of art practice like a sport or like exercise— you build up skills like muscles as you create work, but sometimes you let other muscles work to cover up weaknesses and get lazy. So drills and exercises (something I think we often think are boring/simple or for beginners) are useful to help break those habits and become a little more well rounded, as well as help you regain some excitement when things feel routine, or feel more patient when you’re hitting a wall.
I solicited responses on Twitter last night and got a good slew of ideas to practice no matter what stage you’re in! I wanted to share them with you (if you have others feel free to message me and I’ll add to this list!)
- completing a sketchbook where you work with ink or paint only- no pencil underdrawings!
- thumbnails of existing compositions/movie stills/etc to gain better color/tonal/composition sense.
- do warmup paintings in a found or altered book- working with type on a page gives you a compositional challenge, but is also less intimidating than a blank page.
- do morning warm up drawings, such as doing a small lettering warm-up.
- figure drawing sessions or drawing at a coffeeshop/public space.
- make a list of the things you get specific about and make them iconic and simpler. Make a list of things you use visual shorthand for (a t-shirt, car, bar of soap) and get specific.
- create a list of words/phrases and randomly pull from them, then illustrate something fusing those ideas. (magnetic poetry style!)
- do 100 20-minute sketches from life.
- draw with kids to find spontaneity and focus— learn from their fearlessness!
- also, have kids as art directors giving you assignments.
- take bad, rejected, or old sketches and spend time to fix them into a finished piece.
- take something you’ve made/designed and translate it into the spirit of another style/time period/art movement/voice. Or try and draw it from a different perspective or viewpoint, or try and draw what happened before or after it, or draw the opposite of it.
- give yourself an alter-ego with a totally different visual voice, and try and create work for them.
- create a project with parameters and a goal to explore, and a set end date and accomplish it.
- if you draw fast, try to redraw it really slower and slower, find places to add specificity. Or redraw with your eyes closed. If you draw really complicatedly and slowly, find ways to redraw quicker and simpler but still keeping the essence of the subject.
- blind contour drawings are really great to practice seeing without assuming. Drawing upside down, working with continuous line, or drawing negative spaces of things is also a good way to think differently.
- sitting with another person who draws, draw the same thing with your eyes closed.
- stream of consciousness drawing.
- change scale, draw standing up (or bonus, draw with your pencil on a dowel 3 feet away from the paper).
- draw something you feel very comfortable drawing. Then consider how an alien would consider that thing and what it wouldn’t know about it. Is there a way to convey more personality/information into that drawing?
- try and draw things without line.
- try and translate your drawing into a 3D medium and then redraw it after making it.
- the biggest thing is though: build time to practice, and DON’T TALK YOURSELF OUT OF DOING A DRILL. Think of it like a musician practicing their scales and don’t worry that it’s just for you. Sow those seeds and reap ‘em later!
I love that single-medium sketchbook idea! These all sound fun.
Ok here is a compilation of all the software and useful tools I’ve come across whilst writing. Some of them I’ve reviewed on here already, more coming soon.
Got an idea? Well get planning! Here’s some useful outlining, brainstorming and mind- mapping software:
- Tree Sheets
- Visual Understanding Environment (VUE)
- Oak Outliner
- Work Flowy
- The Outliner of Giants
Just want to get writing? You want a word processor:
- Google Docs
- Microsoft Word
- My Writing Spot
- Open Office
Making notes? Here you go:
Timelines giving you a headache? Try these:
Now perhaps you want to organise those notes. Got a lot of research? Character sheets? Images? Well here’s some tools to keep all that together:
Are you easily distracted? The following tools will keep you on track:
Even more productivity tools to help keep you focussed on your task:
- Cold Turkey
- Productivity Owl
- Simple Blocker
- Strict Workflow
- Time Doctor
- Waste No Time
- Website Blocker
So you’ve got something down? Need to edit?
All done? Perhaps you’d like some e-publishing tools:
- Mobipocket Creator
I’m feeling generous, have some more cool stuff:
Enjoy! I may update the list as I find more, or I’ll make a second list.
IF YOU ARE STREAMING, DON’T USE PROCASTER.
DON’T. USE. PROCASTER.
Livestream procaster consumes large amounts of cpu for nothing. No joke, nothing. As a result your stream can become laggy and sometimes it can damage your hardware as your PC has to push itself to keep what your streaming functioning as well as possible.
"But if we can’t use procaster what can we use insteaaaaad?"
Simple. There’s two programs, both that are free, that you can use that uses very little CPU and has more options than procaster. These programs are called Xsplit and OBS. To keep your head in one piece, I’m going to go over how to stream on Livestream with Xsplit.
Under the cut of course.
It has been requested, and I agree that we need to take a look at the basics in this value shading exercise! Check it out and download the practice sheet HERE.
when in doubt use popular internet dogs for life drawing purposes
I’ve been needing some life drawing practice / pet portrait commission examples…
THE “DRIVEN TO BARK” CAMPAIGN
Petplan has started the 'Driven to Bark' campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars. There is also a White House petition which encourages the passing of laws to address this issue. Unfortunately we hear reports every summer about dogs being left inside hot cars. Click here to learn more about the Driven to Bark campaign. Please share!
Human hand versus tiger paw. A tiger’s front paws are large and strong to bring down prey. Their retractable claws can be pulled inside when this large carnivore walks. Tigers also mark their territory by scratching on trees, which conveniently also sharpens their claws.