Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:44 pm
From late 2018 to now, I've been using Krita portable and I adore it. However, I feel as though I'm missing the mark when I compare my digital artwork to other Krita users. I've learned how to blend and color in Krita, as well as other skills, but I would like to know how can I make my artwork resemble this as well improve:
On another note, I'm aware that I have to improve in my anatomy and also background perspective.
This is my artwork in descending order:
Created on Sept. 6th, 2019
Created on July 4th, 2019
Created in late March 2019
Created in late December 2018
Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:54 pm
Start with that. Your biggest issue right now is not just anatomy and perspective but more fundamentally that the impression of three dimensional shapes you put down isn't consistent. This isn't uncommon in starting artists, but it is the crucial difference between a starting artist and a proficient one. If I draw a skeleton on your scythe girl, for instance:
On the left is an attempt of my own to draw a basic body in that pose, for reference(the legs are still too long ). However, the pose isn't great either, like, you want to have a dynamic pose, but when I try to hold this pose, it's a stiff one. It's not the type of pose I'd hold for slashing an axe, let alone a scythe(which isn't held this way at all). The fact that the pose is stiff means that the attempt at a billowing dress doesn't work. As a side effect of that, there's no motion to the composition(like the drawing of the girl in the chair, there's this zigzag composition in her legs and arms), which in turn means that there's nothing for the fire and mist to accentuate(much like how the lantern's lightpath accentuates the zigzag motion).
This is not so much a 'oh you're so bad', but rather consider it a moment to appreciate how much thought is put into the basic composition and pose. I was sharing this video yesterday with a fellow Krita contributor, because I was amazed at how playful Alex Ross is at the design stage, in that he plays with how he photographs his references. That doesn't mean you need to make your own photo reference, but do take some more time to look around at how you'd hold a weapon and to consider what kind of motion you want to imply. Where would the weapon end up when the motion is finished, which muscles are being strained to start this motion, etc.
The second is that you are sloppy. Your lines are kinda wobbly, and you don't take the time to construct things properly, this is especially evident to me due to you not constructing your ruffles, which are very easy to construct.. I overall get the feeling you're trying to rush to the end stage. I could tell you that you should try to make use of the blending modes, or make use of the filters, but if you don't get the basics right and keep rushing to the end stage where special effects are placed, these special effects will not accentuate an already cool picture, but rather accentuate the faults in the picture.
For what it is worth, the author of that image did write a book, and shared a sample chapter. However, it is in Japanese, but do take a good look at how good the base art looks before they even start colouring it.
I am sorry if this was a little more intense than you anticipated.
Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:22 am
You're definitely aiming very high here.
Nothing wrong with that, but the book TheraHedwig mentioned already indicates that people who are this good can actually sell their knowledge, and often went to some art school and have many many years of (probably not always fun) practice behind them.
I don't know for how long you're doing art with this ambition, but for less than a year of digital painting, I'd say that's nothing to be ashamed of, when you browse sites like deviantart for long enough, you'll sooner or later see artists comparing an early piece with a remake using their current skills, and it becomes clear that talent alone doesn't let you knock out incredible pieces just like that, and I bet even those don't show their more embarrassing attempts from back then.
As non-professional myself, the only real advice I can give you is to explore which way you really want to go, there sure is tons of training and reference material out there, in form of books, online articles, videos and so on, from free to really expensive, but it's up to you how you enjoy developing new skills. I personally don't go through typical lessons like drawing dozens of absracted characters in all kind of poses and other anatomy studies etc, I do art for fun and always jump right into a project that I want to do from start to finish, which means I need to learn a lot on the way to get a better result than last time. While I found the tutorials by David Revoy pretty inspiring, I figured I can't just copy his workflow either. I started out with rather quick pieces, but making every one better than the last takes time, a lot of time.
At every stage I try to do something better than last time, and I try to not go to the next phase until I feel that I succeeded, and I think it starts paying off.
It usually involves finding some more specific guides for something, the ruffles TheraHedwig mentioned are a good example. But even before such details, the proportions are important, those alone can drive you nuts, but take your time, it does pay off. As already said, the quality of the line art of these great artists is already very high, what you mess up there you won't really be able to fix anymore if you're already deep into shading.
Last but not least, even at above image you can find something wrong if you look long enough, in fact, the more I look at her right leg (i.e. left in the image) the less plausible it looks. It would either intersect the chair, or if the heel is on the seating, her knee would be much higher and she couldn't hold the lamp like that...or am I just imagining that?
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