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This is a cover for a Paizo Books. I was asked to do a nordic ice-themed Warlock controlling an Ice Golem. They are fighting Amiri The barbarian, an Iconic figure from the Pathfinder universe. I made a lot of different thumbs and submitted 5 that I liked. As always when having multiple figures fighting on the same image, it is really hard to have everyone facing the camera. Sarah Robinson liked all of them but chose the one with Amiri, the female hero, having her face visible. So I started sketching each figure on a different paper. I might have told you why, before, but it bears repetition: By sketching on separate papers, killing your darlings is not that hard. Just take another paper, nothing lost. If I had sketched it all on one I would be tempted to keep a less good figure if the 2 others had turned out great: By separating them I max out my effort on each figure, keeping the pose within the silhouette of the thumb, but going for the best expression I can. The image is divided up into smaller, easier to digest, bites - tasks better overcome by my feeble brain. When they are all done, I copy paste the 3 sketches on to my thumb using photoshop. The sketch of the barbarian girl really turned out great. She was sketches in 30 cm wide even if she is no bigger than a little finger on the original. I had trouble how the shoulders would turn and how the hand would bent in a striking position, so I had Bodil from my studio, pose with a sword.
Final sketched figures pasted in from scans
When the sketch is done I transfer it to paper via a lightbox. When sketching I tried to take the idea a bit further. The thumb had the golem almost running into a sword thrust, the wizard less engaged to the side. The motion of the Golem looked too static and he come of as standing more than movin. Also I really wanted to be sure that you wouldn't read it so that it looked like the barbarian and the warlock are friends fighting an Ice Monster together. So I changed the thrust to a sweep, having the sword tip taking of the tip of his beard and cleaving the staff while continuing into the belly of the Golem. The golem got a more back turned pose reading a strike that would have crushed her, had she not struck first. Also I moved the Warlock up to the side of the golem and changed his pose so that it mimics the golem. that way, I hope, you read it as if he is controlling the Monster. It is the same reason I did not give the golem eyes. He do not need them since the warlock is seeing for him.
I know that all of these ideas might not be clear at all and perhaps you do not see it the same way, but I had all these thoughts in trying to tell a little story within the battle. A thought that is important if you want to make pictures that goes beyond posing figures acting cool.
Sketching Resident Evil -By Mike Butkus
This is a quick step by step on how I went about doing one of the concept sketches for the Resident Evil: Afterlife movie poster one sheet. This eventually became one of the final teasers. After I read the script or creative brief, I work with the Art Directors to come up with some concepts. Here I start off with what I hope is a dynamic composition. Once the thumbnail is approved, I start the final sketch on a 12’’ x 14’’ sheet of Duralene using a black Prismacolor pencil and a black Verithin. One of the key factors to getting smooth and creamy lines is to keep ten to fifteen sheets of Duralene underneath. As for erasing, I use a simple number 2 pencil eraser since it doesn’t destroy the surface of the Duralene. In this stage I start to define the sketch, focusing on the energy and the action.
Sometimes the Art Directors want to see the drawing fairly flushed out (time permitting), so this is what I would show them. Here the drawing is fairly resolved. Now it’s just a matter of adding details and values. Remember this will be considered a rough sketch, not a finished drawing.
For this last stage, you can see how the line quality adds to the energy and motion which is sometimes really difficult to achieve through photography. The best thing about this piece is the immediate read. I stick to light, medium and dark values to keep the image graphic and also for the sake of production time. For a project like this, I normally do anywhere from 20 to 40 sketches a week, depending on the complexity.
so I started with that. for Tor Books. Tarzan as backup. I realized it should be more about Jane.Painting JANE Greg Manchess This was one of my favorite jobs from last year. . On the second set of thumbs. front and center. Initially there was some talk about Jane teaching Tarzan how to shoot a bow. A book cover for a modern update on the Tarzan legend that focuses on Jane.
gold necklace ● Jane face too Asian. while studying the reference.Irene Gallo and I discussed it and she was drawn to the last thumbnail. and freehanded this sketch.. From there. I painted the final and Irene had it designed to give it a bit of an old look. They loved it over at the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs.! Final sketch. but not overly so ● take out snake as Tarzan hates snakes ● add square...pre-stressed cover! . should be more European ● and.. I gathered reference for the jungle and figures. but had a few suggestions. Here’s the short list on the sketch: ● crop Jane’s hair for more contemporary feel.please make her clothing a two-piece. or pulled up ● define Tarzan more. I loved it. I took out the snake in the finish.. I was quite happy with all of the changes... I was asked to change the two-piece she’s wearing for a one-piece..
Irene loved it.But I noticed a problem: something was wrong with her anatomy now that her hair was off her shoulder.. I was glad a friend and great artist got this one. when I showed it to my friend. I instantly saw the problem. then said. That’s a nice head. The ERB estate loved it.wait. Irene chose my good friend. I managed to correct it in about a half hour. ya just gotta let stuff go. In a few seconds he had reshaped the socket. “wait.. .. There will be more opportunities down the road. It’s the shoulder. Sometimes.. shifting it slightly left. he did a superb job. He looked it over slowly.. These things happen. Even though we were friends in the middle of competing for the attention.. competing in the market at large.it’s not the head. and was about to completely repaint the head all over again.something about--” He pulled out a pencil and some tissue and laid it over the painting. Ultimately.. They wanted a more contemporary feel for the more contemporary attitude of the book. Tor Marketing did not. and my desire to see it published. and my wanting to drive to Canada to snap all of his scratchboard nibs.. David Grove. (you can see it above) I thought it was her head. I saw their point. Back at the studio.. Mark Summers. to complete the task. Despite the great time I had working on it.
. .Making of "Grattis" -By Serge Birault Here's a picture I did for the birthday of my favorite model.. The volumes are not right but it was the goal. . I choose the color of the background and my basic flesh tones. Step 3 : I start to pain the first volumes of the face. The sentence just means "Happy Birthday" in Klingon language.I have several photo references but I didn't copy one. just to help me to find the good contrast. I use the soft round brush with a low opacity. Step 2 : I start to paint the darkest part of the picture.I tried to obtain a more "flat" rendering than usual. and unicorns (and cupcakes). She's a big fan of SF movies and series . Step 1: I put the sketch on a "Multply" type layer.I only use the soft round brush and some Ditlev brushes.. General notes : . as usual. Fuchsia Gibson. Each part is on a different layer.
Step 5 : I paint the ear . I use different Ditlev brushes. once again. On another layer.. I hate pain ears ^^ Step 6 : I start the hair. . Step7 : I paint the background.Step 4 : I do some changes on the lights and on my skin palette. Step 8 : I fix the eyes..
it's the same in every softwares. it will become more and more transparent. you can find it in PS. I use the soft round brush most of the time. If you work with a tablet. the opacity of the center of the brush is gonna be equal to 50% and the opacity of the edge is gonna be about 0% (transparent). it's the good way to proceed. If you decrease the opacity of your layer. The soft round brush is a standard brush. why working with opacity ? Well. Painter. Try to NOT USE the stylus sensitivity. Yes. In order to emulate a traditional airbrush. Step 10 : I add details on it.. If the oacity of your layer is equal to zeo. the opacity will depend on the pressure of the stylus. The Gimp. I think you have to try this. Simple . The center of the soft round brush is more opaque than the edges. Step 12 : The flying cupcake. it's a good and simple way to paint very smooth gradients and blending colors. If I use the soft round brush with 50% of opacity. it sounds like hell for a lot of peoples but belive me. So what is opacity ? You can adjust the opacity of your brushes and the opacity of your layers. It's quite impossible to work well with the opacity by this way. I know. you will no longer see it . How to Work with Opacity -By Serge Birault First. Of course it's not the only way but if you want to achieve very clean results..Step 9 : I start the little Darth hello Kitty Vader with a Star trek uniform. .. Step 11 : I paint the flower and the balloon. Simple...
On big objects. you have to keep in mind the center of your brush has to be outside your object. work with big brush not with a small one . Don't forget. you have to think like "I have to add a little bit of red or a little bit of brown to this color". not like a digital painter .. I mean.So in order to work properly. you have to think a little bit differently than usual. With a low opacity. It's easier to decrease the opacity of your brush and to do several strokes.. _________________________________________________________________________________ Example : Cartoon nose . With several strokes. it will be good. Work with several layers.. Choose the size of your brush wisely. If you want to work with opacity. Indeed.. you cannot paint with a static palette. msot of the time you have to use more than two colors to achieve an interesting gradient. It could be difficult to do a good gradient with 100% on one stroke.. Think like a painter.... it's gonna be easier . one stroke is not enough .
I started with a dark brown with very low opacity. I added the reflective part of the nose with pure white. one with my basic skin tone and one for my soft round brush strokes. I added the shadow with a less red brown than the first one (opacity about 10%). One for the sketch (on the top). . I already created 3 layers. Then I painted the brightest part of the nose with a pale yellow (opacity about 10%).In this picture. The opacity of the layer of my sketch decreased little by little. about 10 %.
_________________________________________________________________________________ Keep in mind you can work in the same way with the eraser. it's quicker like this . If you create several layers for each tones for example. I know my method could seem strange but I use it for . using the soft round brush with opacity with the eraser could be a good solution.. If you want to add a little bit of texture on the skin (and a little bit of red in the same time). you can adjust all the pat very quickly... . Sometimes. a very long time (*cough*) and I think it's a good way to achieve very smooth results. look at the opacity .. Then decrease the opacity of the layer. 1% ! The eyedropper is very useful if you want very smooth gradient... For example. Work carefully with very satured tones. you can start with 100 % opacity brush . You can work with the opacity of the layers too.A little bit of red to emulate the scattering surface.. Depending on the shapes you want to erase... Pick the color and do small strokes with very low opacity.
The white of a real. just under the eyelid. to help the iris read clearly. unless you’re going for a particular effect. inside the darker ring. You’ve got a couple of ways to do this: You . If they go a little oval-shaped or end up not exactly where you want them. If you’re using reference. paint in the left eye first. That will be the ring that runs the perimeter of the iris and the shadow under the upper lid. Do a Web search for a person or thing that represents what you want your character’s eyes to look like. A large pupil can denote innocence and openness. to bring the color up lighter by several shades. under the eye lid. Starting on the eye opposite our dominant hand. A small pupil can indicate a menacing or closed character. but light enough for there to be a noticeable contrast between it and the first middle blue color. Now. Your call. To start. mischievous pupil. then you might want to think about adding a touch of grey or grayed-yellow. human eye is actually more of an off-white. we’ll use a blue eye to demonstrate our method. You can also draw it on after you’ve painted in the white. Okay. it's time to position the iris. we’ve decided the highlight will be on the upper right of the eye. This method helps overcome a visual bias and makes it easier to match your dominant side to an established eye direction. you’ll want the white of the eye to be truly white. Next. If this is a character of your own invention. leaving a ring of darker blue around the iris and a shadow line across the top. there's a corresponding refracted light opposite and below it in the iris (if the light direction comes from above) For our example. top or bottom or both. if you’re right-handed. you’ve got the pupils where you want them. but it will work with any iris color combination. paint in the right eye first. So we'll paint the entire iris using a middle blue color with just a touch of white.Painting Eyes -By Tim Bruckner To help eye placement. You can do this on the primed resin. and use that reference as a guide. so we’ll mix a little more white into our second middle blue color and paint a refracted light onto the bottom left of the iris. Now it's time to paint in the devilish. If you’re working on a larger-scale figure (1/6 or larger). Now it's time for the highlights. If you’re left-handed. A simple but effective way to paint in the iris and pupil goes like this: Establish the darkest part of the iris first. The trick is to get both pupils in the same place in both eyes. and the pencil line will faintly show through the white paint. but be careful not to scratch off the primer or the paint when you're drawing. The size of the pupil can indicate character. we paint in the pupil with black. we paint in the white of the eyes. Now we’re going to add more white to that middle blue. we need to decide where the highlight is going to be placed. but working on a small scale. try and paint in the eye opposite your dominant hand first. you’ll have a pretty good idea where the iris places in the eye and how much of it is framed by the eyelids. reference is still a good place to start. For our example. The color shouldn’t be too light. you can use a little of the middle blue paints to make the correction. it may be a good idea to lightly draw in the irises with a pencil. the iris is made up of three colors. before you paint the white in. So. First. We’re now going to paint in this lighter shade. Wherever there’s a highlight.
will result in that cross-eyed look. so the right eye has more white visible from the tear duct to the outside edge of the iris. The more open part of the eye is from the tear duct side. the dang deal is this: If your character is looking off to the right side. trying to paint onto both the pupil and the iris. the character’s gaze looks right. the iris of the right eye is placed in the far right corner of that eye.can take a little white paint and use your brush to point it into place on the eye. or you can mix up a little light grey. and it works well in some applications. jammed up against that left eye's tear duct. making sure they're evenly spaced. Which side doesn’t matter. and your character still looks a little cross-eyed. put that in place and then place a dot of white inside the grey. one to the other. just off to the side. It’s a subtle effect. cover the left eye. With both eyes showing. You’ve worked and worked hard to make sure that both irises are perfectly matched. The left eye's iris has the disadvantage of occupying the more open part of the eye. maybe pensively or intently. Placing the left iris in the corner of the left eye. What’s the dang deal?! Well. . even though both irises are evenly matched. while the white is over in the narrow corner. Let's say your character is looking off to the side. By moving the left iris out of the corner a little and creating a little white space between the edge of the iris and the tear duct. essentially outlining the white highlight with a little light grey ring. and things look fine. the character looks cross-eyed. this has to do with the amount of white visible in each eye. Partly. You can test this by penciling in both irises.
Mask-paint in the chrome color. we VERY carefully paint in the top and bottom eyelash line. Lastly. To finish the job. the paint should be just a tad more fluid to aid in paint flow. Lastly. we’ll satin varnish the hair and add a high gloss varnish to the eyes and lips. blending as we go to create a little more drama. And she’s done! . Next. A slightly dryer paint will result in the paint skipping across the surface as opposed to laying down a smooth. we go back in with the flesh color and paint in the lower lid being careful not to paint onto the white of the eye. we’ll paint in a cheek blush and lip color. Adding a little light brown to our flesh color. When painting in a very tight detail. we create a shadow tone that we’ll paint above the eye and a little below to add a bit more drama to the eye.With the eye painted. even line. we paint in the eyebrow. With the shadow in place. we’ll create a slightly darker shadow color using a bit more light brown and a hint of black and paint it above the eye and out toward the outside of the eye. lay in the basic hair color and use dry-brushing and highlights for a sheen effect.
Ideally. 11 x 17". photographic or otherwise. reference (of any kind) is all about knowledge. . Watercolor and gouache on Illustration Board. Cover. it is a subject I frequently talk about. Aside from my weekly exhibition of embarrassing photos. submitting focus to the narrative while simultaneously supporting it. Even those images that require no direct quotations benefit from previous memories. can inform our readers. On a purely conceptual level. 2010."Presearch" — Part 1 of 3 Amazing Spider-Man #638. whether consciously cited or not. that the richness of detail in subject and setting enters the reader's mind without conscious consideration. this is done so smoothly. as comic book artists (illustrators. often because I am asked. Part 1: Why do we need reference? — Refining searches through specificity — Today begins a 3-part post on "referential" advice. but also because I think it speaks to some larger themes in my work and creative process. One of the key elements in nearly every image I create is reference. but my main purpose is to convey my thought process — in particular. the way in which I increase the depth of my knowledge pool (despite starting at the shallow end). whatever). so unobtrusively. I will include a smattering of links that some of you may find useful. it informs us so that we. cartoonists.
Most of us can. As representational artists. which I posted previously. Individual style can.Ink on Marvel board. This quest for reference reveals something about the basic structure of our minds.2009. but I think the same mental process (admittedly inexplicable) applies to just about everything in the visible world. if not equivalent level. it's easier to imagine the people interacting with it and the environment in which they exist. those of us in the image-making business must reinforce our work with research in order to make a convincing reproduction of the world around us.— no one would be able to tell one from another. through attention to detail (and years of practice). 11 x 17". Acrylic and gouache on bristol board. and yet portraiture is consistently regarded as one of the more difficult disciplines within representational art. . Because of this imbalance. be honed to a comparable. If this were not true. Page 13.25". Our audience knows when we don't know. Reference Used I bought a few new toys to help me with the Young Allies issue. 2009. from our earliest years. Have you ever tried to draw someone from memory? It can certainly be done (and practice helps).Amazing Spider-Man #590. It's especially nice when they're small enough to hold in one hand and draw with the other (the gun is 1:6 scale and the bike is 1:18). but my point is that nearly everyone comes with the facial recognition "software" preinstalled. I always prefer a 3D model (real or computer generated) to photographs. Unfortunately. 11 x 17. in this case. I use the example of faces because we are so incredibly sensitive to them. Anyone who has made an attempt to create a representational image of any subject will quickly realize that our natural talents lie in recognition. not reproduction. as in the panel to the right. a motorcycle and a Thompson sub-machine gun among them. A tangible model also gives me something on which to anchor my point of view. But why is that? Because we can all tell if the artist got it wrong. Broadly speaking. this suggests that inside each of our brains is a catalog of 3-dimensional models with which to compare and contrast the faces that we see. of course. I use these in conjunction with on-line photo reference for smaller details or. regardless of our particular style's proximity to reality. Cover (Wolverines Playing Poker). to add a sidecar. but drawing them is another challenge altogether. While I believe the former is an instinctual capability. the latter can. Once I've got a motorcycle in front of me. recognize familiar faces (though not all of us). this is our central challenge. then we wouldn't have popular artists Young Allies. dictate the type of reference needed — I take different photos for a painting than I would for a line drawing — but even the most abstract representation can benefit from real-world. visual anchors. that information can be difficult to access. You may be able to recognize a plethora of different vehicles. Panel 3. This is why phrases like "a good likeness" came into existence.
the search usually begins on-line with an appeal to Google Images. Most of the reference for this composition came from the WWII books and various images found on-line. but you'll be far more likely to find the appropriate plating and pattern if you search for scale armor (or lorica plumata (or lorica squamata)).vehicles. Most of you are probably quite familiar with this resource by now (I've been using it for well over a decade). it's the "feel" or "spirit" of a particular era or genre that I'm trying to emulate. Page 15." Mythos: Captain America. Use that propensity to your advantage. but symbols and syntax are still at its heart. establishing the technical names for clothing and accoutrements will vastly improve any search. In order to search for images effectively. 2008. its visual literacy improving with time. since its inception.So now that we have some basic idea of why we need reference. weapons. this applies to architecture. Not limited to clothing. For example. It has come a long way over the course of its life. The photos below were mostly taken for general lighting and gesture. so I didn't follow them all too closely. If you're designing costumes. The world wide web. tools — virtually anything. but we had limited space and I had already extended one page (the Avengers spread) into two.) . Although one of the maquettes is supposed to be Peter Parker. has been a text-based information system. Reference Used I had always wanted this panel to be part of a double-page spread. extending out to the left to display the vastness of the Allied Powers' invasion of Normandy. appliances. 11 x 17". most people refer to Captain America's armor as chain mail. we must take this into account by tailoring our queries to that language. how do we go about getting it? For me (no surprises here). Sometimes this means researching a subject beforethe image search even takes place — what I call "presearch. but what I'd like to share are some of the key strategies that help me to find the best kind of reference for the task at hand. even superficially through Wikipedia articles. By getting to know your subject. Panel 1. Gouache and acrylic on bristol board. (I should also note that what I'm usually aiming for is not strict historical accuracy. you'll be able to target your search with greater accuracy. rather. the features are generic enough to pass for a young Bucky Barnes. Most avenues of human endeavor demand increasingly specific nomenclature so as to match the depth of study.
who not only go to exhaustive efforts to fabricate authentic costumes and props. What more could you ask for? Perhaps a trireme instead of a Greek ship? In Captain America's case. But how do we even know what's out there? While the quality of your query has a tremendous impact on the answers you receive. and while search engines do most of the grunt work. let's imagine that the picture you need is out there.final Color study pencil study Here I am posing as Patroclus. but useful strategies for finding visual reference on-line. digest-sized edition. "Presearch" — Part 2 of 3 By Paolo Rivera Part 2: Where do we find reference?— Strategies for knowing what's out there — In part 1 of this series. The costumes and shields of the background soldiers were largely based on The Complete Costume History. posing as Achilles. So how is one to know what one doesn't know? For the sake of argument. I demonstrated simple. but is so cool to look through. Your chances of finding it will vastly improve if you take the time to anticipate the unique circumstances under which it would be published on-line. know what you're looking for before you go searching. A convenient consequence of this strategy is that you'll find people who actually know what they're talking about! There are thousands (if not millions) of internet-savvy people across the planet who are more than willing to share their expertise in a given subject. the sixth in the series. including a quaint. No matter what it is. but also document their work and any events in which they participate. a huge book that I've used only once. Some of the most helpful are reeanactors. was eventually used as the cover to the collection. just waiting for you. the best resource I found was from Renaissance Faire artisans who fashioned their own costumes (and documented the entire process).<. In other words. your results are still limited to what is available on-line. Is your mind blown? This cover. such as The Greek Warriors. . it's probably out there — it's just a matter of asking the right question... both hardcover and trade paperback.
) But if you're after authenticity or. page 19 Let's start with a mundane example. I was required to paint General Ross. and boasted enough detail to reveal the intricacies of medals. Although my memory may be faulty. . the side effect is that it can yield less pertinent ones: there are less pictures out there at higher resolution. but by determining the name of a particular brand. for the most part. a 3-star general in the Air Force. perhaps. but it is increasingly practical for private individuals as well (for better or worse). this works best for public figures. in Mythos: Hulk (2006). it's a useful tactic that can be broadly applied to any product on earth. cursory search — I was able to find a multitude of high-resolution photos from a variety of angles. pins.Herculite. and buttons. If it can be sold (and what can't?). higher picture quality. complete with details of components and hardware." You can even stipulate the megapixel count. Obviously. And if you still need more detail. It's all about finding the right keywords. "Glass doors" would provide perfectly adequate results. Gouache and acrylic on bristol board. While not absolutely necessary in this case. then there is a picture of it on-line. page 19 called for a scene in which the super-family stood behind glass doors with a montage of their future adventures in the reflection. By researching a handful of particular people — first discovered through the initial. Many were print-quality. For instance.5 × 11″. don't overlook the uniform. it's just as likely that the image pool expanded or algorithms improved. This is precisely why specificity is needed to reign it in. which can be found under "Search Tools. I should also note that I typically search with the "Large" filter enabled. While this limits results to photos above certain dimensions. (I feel like the same search yielded poorer results 7 years ago. Mythos: Hulk. thus the query must scrape the barrel of relevancy. give you the needed reference.Mythos: Fantastic Four (2007). searching for a specific 3-star general will give you far better results. I gained access to a different kind of photo — those taken in order to sell a product — and thus technically competent. Now searching for "3-star general air force" will. 2006. In Mythos: Fantastic Four (2007). 8.
. foliage. The downside is that you get a lot of generic. if you're going to draw superhero comics. You will also find more candid pictures. Images are often grouped into albums according to event and date. Some of you may remember the fantastic pictures I found when I detailed my search on April Fools Day. examples being Tesla coils. I also want to counter a particular search method I've witnessed many colleagues use. ) The objective is excavation. provides precisely what is needed to bring certain fiery characters to life (or death). wake turbulence. and architecture. what are you drawing? Would someone even take a photo of that? If so. Fine. I have too often seen portfolio pieces that include a direct copy from an anatomy book that I own. hairstyles. try "fire breather" or "oil fire. That's fine if you're practicing — I've done it plenty — but don't superimpose knight's armor on a nude model and try to pass it off as your own. what would they call it? Now if all this sounds a little creepy. (I don't put anything on the internet I don'texpect people to see. we've let Google know precisely what we're looking for. What we should be taking from these photos is specific." The same goes for energy effects. ubiquitous stock photography because — get this — they want you to find it. but additional reference is often needed to reinforce the basic structure with specific details." but refining a search to fire stunts or. So how would your as-yet-undiscovered photographer label their pictures? Perhaps I need children of a certain age? Why not submit "8th birthday party" instead? How about "3rd grade school play?" By coming at the problem from an oblique angle.A related case involved police cars which. the generic purpose for which it was created. It was not until I started searching for a certain "light bar" that I found satisfactory images. And if you're just looking for great flames. but you should only use it for the most generic of information — in other words. And while this example may not be pertinent to your own goals. We want the elusive "telling detail. Under what circumstances would someone tag a photo "children playing?" I certainly wouldn't do that to my children (assuming I ever have any). providing individual people and settings from multiple angles. gestures. what I've detailed is just a more comprehensive exploration of the strategies I introduced in my previous post. cars. What if you need to paint something (or someone) on fire? There are plenty of pictures of fire on-line. Now stock photography can be useful. better yet. I can certainly understand. I hope it illustrates the way I think before I type. You need pictures of "children playing" and using those 2 words will give you images of just that. The main point is to put yourself in the position of both the photographer and the social networker. and even some of a "man on fire. I've downloaded several Sketchup models from Google's 3D warehouse. So far. furniture." not someone's personal photography. First things first. This technique also performs well with Flickr (though quotes around search terms help). While they may be helpful (and I hope they are). where would they publish it? Finally. If you want real practice. finding the web site of a pyro-maniacal stunt man. you had better be able to draw. try drawing the same pose from a different angle altogether. setting. since the photographer will be in the midst of genuine action (and very well may be part of it). I call it the "children playing" fallacy. Let's say you're painting a playground scene. especially the lights. or plasma. but anonymous information: clothing. Whatever.
chances are the quality is high enough to be useful to you. I often use Google Earth to facilitate in composition and perspective. Nor can Marvel. access. my biggest client: every new freelancer gets an "Original Artwork Policy" that unequivocally states what you can and can't include in your work. What illustrators used to call a personal "morgue file" has become an expansive archive cultivated by the entire civilized world. The 3D buildings had clearly defined facades that were easily transferred via light box. As I've mentioned many (many) times before. The guy in the FF shirt is. it's a great resource because of the skill. I usually begin with 4 x 6" pencil layouts. 11 x 17. but I might as well show one of the quick tricks that's been very helpful. The building in the foreground is Tweed Courthouse. Same goes for everyday objects: you are welcome to draw New York architecture. Celebrity likenesses. of course. and 3D graphics have become available to everyone with a computer. reference. I began dissecting them digitally. 2010.25". are a big no-no (unless you get their explicit permission. the illustrator.Rant over. I can't stress this enough. but 3-dimensional information — nuts and bolts and struts and vents — that the photographer has no claim on. There may be things that aren't on the internet. but the real challenge — at least in terms of time — was all those windows. then incorporating borders.Reference Used Can you hear me now?" This page features a variety of backgrounds and gestures. If they care enough to share a photo. the man in the mirror. for example. Amazing Spider-Man #639. and perspective grids into a perfectly formatted composite (every page begins with a template based on a scanned Marvel board). That means no upping the contrast on a photo you found and using it as a background (unless. But as technology has progressed. the process of finding information has become easier than ever (while making it harder than ever to claim or maintain copyright). and personality of its contributors. this boils down to the careful extraction of 3-dimensional information from 2-dimensional representations. but it had best be your own expression of it. Again. just north of City Hall. all taken by other people. but starting with this project. Most often. . what I'm taking from the photos is not the composition. Page 3. which I did in one notable case). but I haven't found them.Ink on Marvel board with digital color. I've been meaning to do a series on perspective for some time now. you were the photographer). at least for me. but it was particularly helpful in this instance. Getting back to Flickr. I have a whole folder of nothing but NYC rooftops and water towers.
When seen in the background they give the image that this is a snapshot. A moment lasting only for a second. Here are a couple of examples . In fantasy painting I think this way of capturing a scene in an impressionistic snapshot of the moment lends credibility to an unbelievable scenery or figure. preferably in the middle of a movement.Moving Objects -By Jesper Ejsing In a painting. One way to add a sence of “ camera snapshot” is to add something that we consciously know is moving . I always try to capture the figure in movement. I want to capture the scene as it would look like from a snapshot angle of an innocent bystander.Like a leave in the wind or drops of water. perhaps out of balance or hanging in the air from a jump. Birds are instantly known as moving objects. spray of blood or perhaps my best element: Birds.
Applying Paint Gregory Manchess Neil Young. I need to work my way up. Two reasons. I separate myself from the subject and only paint the form. I trained to know just how much pigment is on the end of my brush. It’s deadly. for Rolling Stone Magazine. I study folds and constantly vary them. Cadmium Yellow Light is not a miracle color. not individual hairs. Vary forms. They step back and declare. Obvious places: nostrils. November 8. one practices the technical skills so that later our brain focuses on what's important: getting somewhere safely. And no. good overall effect in any painting. then work my way up through the darker values of color to the lighter values placed on top. New painters seem to think they are phenomenal because they used Ultramarine Blue straight from the dang tube. hair. I don’t think about the object I’m painting. eyelids and eyebrows. This adds dimension and lets objects feel sculptured. good coverage. Ultramarine Blue. issue 1169.’ Amount of pigment. Get over it. mouth line. Repeating the same folds will kill a painting as dead as an assassin's shot through a pillow. Using it straight from the tube does not show how brilliant one is at mixing paint. but these will enhance most painting styles. deep cheek bones. My favorite medium is oil paint. No matter how large or small. Until the last bits of painting. I leave something fun for the last. I have explained the essence of pure painting by opening a paint tube and using yellow next to blue. under the eye sockets. 2012 I've painted long enough to know that much of this list has become second nature. .’ Using primary colors as a statement of painting brilliance screams ‘AMATEUR. Value range. chin. Hair is a bold shape. so putting them in too soon will defeat that effort. Two.. Neuroscientists call it 'automaticity.' Similar to driving. Admire me. my awareness of the amount is paramount to good layers. I avoid the highlights as long as I can. to get the deep shadows laid in. I start with darks first. I delay gratification as long as I can. ‘look at me. The Genius. I place the boldest shapes to establish deeper values. It’ll make mud faster than 35 school kids running for the bus. One. Next. Avoid highlights.. I’ll put in broader. I cut my strokes across the surface of the forms. The best part of painting in oils occurs within the last few layers and strokes.10 Things. I won’t 'follow' the form either. New painters: Avoid primary colors. Same is true for Ultramarine. but slightly lighter shadow shapes like under the nose. under the bottom lip.
I painted very slowly in the beginning. and when it comes down in reproduction. I switch back and forth. I come back to that area after a bit to judge whether it was the correct feeling. I built up speed through confidence. general idea to keep things from getting too focused too early. Too small with large brushes. Painting fast and loose comes the same way as anything else: with time. too unfocused. making signs. I have to decide how clearly the strokes will be seen and what feeling they project to a reader. size. I start with the largest brush for as long as I can and work my way down to the smaller brushes. At this point in my career. it’s usually hard to tell the speed the stroke was laid. Scale. Over the years. against other strokes that are adding to the whole piece. If it’s a small painting in a magazine. to look as if they were painted fast. placing my strokes deliberately. I don’t judge my strokes too quickly. The angle of the brush helps lay down the right amount of pigment. Patient strokes. Judging too early destroys spontaneity. copying comics (bang! zoom! pow!). Brush angle. at the right angle. with the right pressure to achieve a free and confident stroke. I decide how I want the paint to feel once a piece is finished. If it’s a large painting and I want it to feel loose. etc. I lay it down. in the right direction. or even slightly before. It taught me how to make letterforms with a brush or pen. I have to decide on the size that feels best. but I let them sit. Calligraphy also taught me how to angle a pen or brush. Stroke speed. it can look too detailed. Knowing the amount of ink held on an instrument for calligraphy is critical to achieve a skilled work. . New painters can make the mistake of painting too small with too large of a brush and vice versa. as I near the end of a painting. It’s just plain ol’ experience. I find that they are just fine once I come back to judge them in context. Many times. I lay strokes down that don’t make sense. and press on. and the piece can look too loose. They learned to handle the brush and at what angle AT ALL TIMES. and take it off. Or worse. I don’t lay one down. Paint it too large with small brushes. Making letterforms is a key factor in learning to paint. I know many great painters who also started by copying letter shapes. And LOADS of training. hate it. color.I studied calligraphy. I scale the brush size to fit the scale of the painting. Brush size. It’s a good. Once down. try to keep changing it.
If it’s in the epigenetic material. You only see the results.” It’s also why people point to that feeling as if it were a gift. Once you begin learning something. medicine. You can wait for your muse to show up. I knew from teaching myself how to drum that it would not be easy or fun. then cried for two minutes. There’s no evidence that talent actually exists. running. Your brain cannot retain the nerve memory of what it couldn’t do. . If I could get good at the figure. it would’ve been there since the dawn of man. basketball. It’s very likely it won’t.10 Things. Talent is a myth. I wanted to know how to paint figures. Cro-Magnon man did not have a gene for ping pong. But if you train. Castle of Chillon. I was going to have to learn it. not possessed. Never believe your talent will show up someday. Do your own research. Clearly. That’s why it feels like you just “always knew how to do it. we remember the practice. intellectually. I thought it would just become what I was thinking. Or trust what pilots follow: Never trade luck for skill. But I really wanted to paint pictures. I could paint anything from there. Most times when it shows up it’s an energy-sucking vampire slut. Good figure paintings were the most interesting to me. even though. painting. I didn’t want to have to go through the learning process again. Talent is built. pinball. you won’t need it. My muse is fickle. This really ticked me off. etc.. photography. Nothing in the DNA studies points to some mysterious gene that can be identified as a talent for art. or you can manhandle that muse to submit to your will. I carry a stake made from training. This began my studies of neuroscience and the brain. You can’t feel it. if you go through the hard work of understanding and observing and practice. About Talent -Greg Manchess 2nd oil painting. Training over talent. I understood from that moment that I had no talent and I was going to have to manufacture it in order to learn to paint. I tried to paint a sunset and had no idea how to mix paint.. I threw my head in a pillow and screamed. You don't have to trust what I say here. it feels like it’s always been there. Switzerland My first attempt at oil painting was a complete failure. I had to learn how to learn. I sat up and realized that all the drawing I had done as a kid would not miraculously give me the skill to paint.
know when you are faking and when you are actually learning. It’s built through the nerves. Great artists deny it. You can eclipse that attitude with skill. They make the very conscious effort to fail. however small. and move on. They concentrate and train themselves to see trouble before it starts.) Let people think you have talent. They remember what happened when mistakes were made and they correct for them. That’s why brain injuries can cause us to forget how to walk. never did. and then we innovate those motions. we start to get better. having gone through the motions long enough. And you can read everything about it. but only because they’ve been through that trouble before. and how it learns. fake-it-till-you-make-it helps you learn. and they record it. Look talented. and had to work their arses off to get to where they are. we’ll likely forget where we learned it. it would be a piece of cake for recovery. Practice is more than just going through the motions. Practice is the only way we actually build muscle memory. Frankly. they were training themselves to learn. but for the love of Pete. Study neuroscience. Loads of creative people believe they have a gift for what they do. About 40 or 50 thousand years of it. There are great strides being made every day in learning how the brain works. I’ve followed quite a number of great creative people who will simply tell you they have no talent. they just have a poor memory for remembering that when they were young. It’s great for getting work. I’ve never thought talent existed and now science backs that up. Let the other guy need talent. Yes. It’s how we learn. If the other guy needs to believe that talent will rescue him from agony. let him. Just don’t get pissed off like I do when people call me talented. . Trust those guys. Some people learn faster than others.Recognize skill for what it is. At some point. Learn the difference between skill and fake knowledge. because memory is not stored in muscles. The brain drives muscles through nerve signals. (If the muscles remembered. we’ll just think we were ‘talented’ as a species anyway. correct. It negates all the crazy long work I’ve done. We have to retrain the brain. The field of neuroscience is at its sharpest cutting edge and we are going to benefit so much from it. Trouble is. Sigh. It only slows them down.
Just like that idea I had simmering for ten years. as I read more about what other creatives such as writers. Passion builds Piecing it together. scientists. mathematicians. Something pops into mind immediately. Good time to smash conflicting ideas together: concrete cellophane. for ten years. theorists. Sort of a chicken-or-egg endeavor. The sequence: Genesis The beginning stages of an idea.. I had a call from a magazine once and within ten seconds of hearing the story. I didn’t know this was what was going on for a long. Taking your passion and pushing it. But the first thing is generally not the best. we feel lucky. Reject the obvious. But it was an image I had in the back of my mind. studying the nuances. I had the right image. One thought leads to another. working with the first thing that comes to mind... but basically ideas form from the idea before it. Thoughts are rarely isolated. unless you can simplify it. musicians. long time.10 Things. Usually at this stage we encounter the same thought pattern. Things are starting to gel. but I kept watching it. Then. and engineers were experiencing. Building on the idea. All ideas are based on previous ideas. or it came from an idea you had long ago and your brain is still hashing it out. but it’s not there yet. Sometimes. I saw patterns emerge from my own struggles. Thoughts are tagged to each other in a sequence. Research Looking for clues.. twisted . Disparate images are merging. About Generating Paintings Gregory Manchess This is about the stages of idea generation that I’ve observed for decades in my own work.
. At this stage: concentrate! Failure But still nothing works. have fun. off the wall.. Several studies now on the effect of the right-left movement of your legs on your brain's right-left hemispheres. Failure after failure. Nothing makes sense yet. Your mind flat-lines. Let it simmer. it’s boring. You try and try. The image is fuzzy.smoothness. etc. This stimulates the brain to get curious and try things. but still nothing. Depression.a thought . In fact. Daydream! Rebirth When you least expect it. Frustration sets in. Ya got nothin’. Avoidance. Don’t look for it. Do something completely different. you MUST push through this stage or nothing gets finished. So you stall. Better yet: sleep on it. Distract. That’s where we find answers. Your head is still working in the background. Play. Meet friends.. It needs some time.. or worse. Nothing looks right. silent euphoria. It doesn’t come together in your head or on paper. You force the issue.. barbarous laughter. You’re losing interest. Keep going... First thing: go for a walk..it’s part of the process. and I mean least: a spark. Stall But you can’t keep going. Relax.
sounds.. It’s coming. drawing. While you’re engaged with something else. success is not far away... When it does... The brain lights up in areas across the hemispheres.. a simple. The embers reignite. Hold it---insight is occurring.. tiny connection occurs. Do a sketch. Cover illustration for Kilkenny. Your brain recommits to the challenge. feelings. faster this time.. it sometimes occurs fully formed--but only after much concentration. Wait a minute--what was that? Write it down. by Louis L'Amour .. or something you did think of but just not quite like this. You have to get it down! Drawing. They start to smoke. not quite this way.. know something now. faster than you can hold on to. pulling info from every sector. Recommit You see something. One thought leads quickly to another. Where’s that pencil? Usually known as the ‘Aha Moment’ of insight. then relaxation. Smells.appears. The piston chemistry starts firing. Curiosity returns.wait-not like that.like this! Breakthroughs occur here.something you hadn’t thought of.
it still must balance. Or mountains. Learn to draw them. or reference of metal to look at. I can’t stand how often artists choose the same design: one figure. Design the entire space from side to side. smack in the middle of the painting. Lighting decision. even a vignette. I want to get pulled in to a piece. There’s always too many.10 Things. front to back. a box.About Planning Pictures Gregory Manchess Start small. I strive to look for a better angle. If I'm going to paint metal. Decide if it’s stage lighting or natural light. top to bottom.. You can cover greater ground in a small size. What’s so hard about this? No one wants to get the right reference to help themselves. Starting out large will not always work. Try to feel it. Learn to use them. Overcast day or sunny? Moonlit night. and how to design better.. There really aren’t any spaces that don’t demand balance. Everything on the page must be there for a purpose. Research your materials. but I start right here with light. like a book cover. so pick a good interesting one. . So I design within a rectangle. Then I go get some metal to study. expediently. I can always change. Right off. to contain my design. It must always balance.. That’s what makes the viewer linger and think. to get my composition.. Don’t think they will? You’ll discover the contrary all too quickly. Think inside the box. I decide what time of day or night the picture lives in. I always start with a perimeter. even if enigmatic and weird. or man-made night light? This is the very first thing I must do to get ahold of my value structure. Search for the interesting points. Use the small size of thumbnails to structure your painting quickly. Or water. Research. Probably still suffering from thinking we paint from our heads. to learn more or to spur my sense of wonder. Learn to love them. Look for a better pov. Thumbs will teach you how to draw better. This is the time when ‘thinking outside the box’ is not appropriate. Or flesh. while others speed beyond you. What you design small will always blow up proportionately. We don’t. then I think about how metal looks. at noon. Thumbnails. a better point of view to express my narrative picture.
patterns. and they never cause the eye to “leave the canvas” or even “reenter the picture.Value control. but you’ll always end up returning to these basic principles.... well. When we create characters we want to know all about them so we tend to draw them completely. Don’t go crazy with this. keep them overlapped. or clumps. At this point it has depth. You can modify things as you learn them. Things don’t look like that in life. But this makes the most boring design ever. I study great black and white art and photography. so we can see them. Study comics. Did I mention I overlap figures? Mountains? Trees? Animals? Buildings? Colors? Objects? Yeah. which is now a slice of time. silhouette. Keep it simple. AND THAT’S ALL. Same for trees.. I watch noir films. Same for. they don’t mimic repeating shapes. I have to move stage characters around (called blocking) so that I can see them. I live in a b/w world for a while. Overlap stuff.when I overlap elements. Promise. and still tell the story of the picture. (see points on balance above if you have questions about this. so that it breaks the monotony. or the landscape. and mood to control your values. or a bright daylight piece? Decide. The lines I’m talking about are simple and direct. It’s been this way for a couple hundred years. I know. Elements overlap. It mimics life and creates tension and depth. Other lines help to lead to the same spot.. How will my figure contrast against the background. Gotta learn it before you can modify it. middle ground. groupings. Costume the characters. Classic stuff. Most of them overlap the cow next to them. Build the stage. Ya don’t paint every cow leg in a field. I design them so that they tell a story in clumps. AND THAT’S ALL. or interior? Is it dark and moody. Early. Things get hidden.. I think about contrasts. Same for people.. using light. Lead with line. I think of my painting as a stage. We keep them all separate. That’s what I meant by front to back above. Light the stage. They don’t spin the eye. Now pick where the camera (eye) is going to look at that stage. and so on. Put figures on the stage. I DESIGN my paintings so that figures overlap. Put them in groups. Am I being obtuse? What’s so hard about this? So many want to reject it.) Foreground.” This is all bunk. rotate the eye. I know. Just like we see things. Clump elements. always. background. The same for the next character. Along with lighting. shape. . They lead the eye to the primary viewing spots of a painting. so avoid it. or the sky. Then blend and adjust shadows and lighting so that it works as a whole. The line I’m talking about is something where a figure or an arm leads your eye to the center of attraction.
Lighting I ask myself right away: how is this baby gonna be lit? What’s the light in the world of the painting? Time of day? Year? Setting? Weather? Indoors. the light values must stay consistent to be convincing.. painted under the same damn conditions. 2.. outdoors? Is the lighting the focus. or dark. So.. But I have to pay attention to whether it’s about a bright picture. This helps make it unique. Not the other way around. I don’t want my portfolio full of boring pov’s. 4. Shoot. Once decided. The more convincing the painting. if designed well.well. I spent years going through the agony of learning to draw shapes fast. . I want to show the viewer how much I love what I paint. and find angles I hadn’t thought of. I Remember About Planning Paintings -Gregory Manchess Since it's all about me. works large. realizing that these things come from my own notes about my painting career. Measure twice.You may notice that I changed the title to 'Things I Remember". the better the illusion.. Boring. And I’ve found over the years that they’re willing to go. 1. In.. There must also be a range of value to convey this. Value Lighting determines much of this. One problem: I hated my thumbnails. Me. Head. 3. This saved tremendous grief down the line. moody.. when the thumbnails were solid. Besides. So the rest of these post topics will focus on my selfish perspective. Then I search for ways to express it in a way I alone want to see. or the subject in light? What kind of light do I want to try.. Which leads to. I'd rather avoid the preaching when possible. understand. I study the differences all the time as to what makes pictures inspire certain feelings.. play with. everything really. I could cover more ground. unless I can bring something special to it. and as accurately as possible. I remember the day I realized that tiny little drawings. I got more excited about. Find a better point of view I found that by drawing small. I don’t want my list of work to reflect the same damn light angle. and all that. haunting. will blow up into the same exact proportions. keep from getting lost in one composition. what works small. In other words. from the same damn source. Start small One word: thumbnails. I explore all those angles. or uplifting. The. and hopefully you'll be able to take something away from it to use. What kind of light makes me feel certain things. I want to take them with me. every time.10 Things.
The Rockwell even provided color and b/w prints of the pose. the thing itself. Everyone worked from this new angle so that we could all talk about the same points of concern. and projected it. 9. I remember that the photo is not the painting. just like a story plot. Foreground. As with 2D space. looking from the most important element first. Or how movements repeat. Every figure. I taught a class on painting at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Background. working to allow the foreground to take my eye past it. . Photos are guides They are only there to remind me of the actual thing. It is a fine designed window into the scene. into the picture. Middle ground. It was the third time I’ve held a workshop there and it was a full class at eighteen painters. I’d have the thing in front of me. 7. I want to lead the viewer through it. 10 Things I Remember. Then I try to feel the elements. and then. This way. the very last thing to do is reject the reference in favor of the painting. 10. I surround myself in reference. 8. video. If it’s a scene. A through-line. so in the end. every twist. 6. And make it work. Certainly I work from photos. and load the picture from there. If it doesn’t. There’s not much sadder to me than to see a painter miss an opportunity to thrill by pushing and pulling pictorial elements apart or together. I rely on my memory for the idea. not the final.. The background will support and hold firm what I show in the middle ground. it’s out. Everything is supported by the other elements. and keeps my compositions from becoming staid. through to all the supporting pieces. Elements must vary. Otherwise. but we adjusted well enough.About Tracing Gregory Manchess Last week. and line. If it isn’t. Overlapping adds depth and interest at the same time. leads the eye through the painting. I want to fall in love with every angle. I get every sort of reference needed about it: photos. The students needed to get beyond the stigma associated with using photographs. I wanted them to compare working from life and working with an edited photo. top-to-bottom. in order to give the entire class the full advantage of working from the same angle. Is it leather? Steel? Hair? Skin? This gives me the feeling I need to go after. or that gesture connects to this line. Use line to direct the eye I don’t trip over silly philosophies about how this line mimics that rhythm. Nothing complicated. That may just be the first time anyone’s ever done that. Overlap When I notice that I’m spending too much time on an element. turn. Every face. Design the entire space Every piece of space in the painting is important to me. We loosened up the first day working quickly from the live model. and the best way for me to get it is to research it to exhaustion. It was a bit difficult for everyone to see the model.5. it’s adjusted or it’s gone. Every piece. all the way through to the far background. from sketches to finish. we worked with whatever it took to learn and get a good painting on the surface. but I’m not always successful. I find the focal point of the piece. So. I try to get it in the position I need. and every piece is critical. Think it. I design out the space so that it works side-to-side. research it I think a lot about what I’m to portray.. value. I photographed her in a new pose. I don’t have the time in my composition to waste on elements that don’t support the whole. it means I’m too much in love with that particular detail and I need to incorporate it into the balance of the whole picture. feel it. I also design in 3D: front to back. The model returned the second day and we worked from both. Edited and simplified. shape.
line. When I draw. Any ol’ goof can follow lines. SO DRAW. I could see what length the line was that was needed to foreshorten it. Use fluid lines. When you trace under something like an Artograph. 6. vary it for shadow lines. --What? Did you think there was a straight line to skill? C’mon. Today. perfected. buy the reference you need. 7. But I promised myself to learn from it. etc. Yet I sped up. Exaggerate. Better for everyone that way. trees. I still need to make the sketch my own. depth. Forget about tracing every little subtle light shift. Draw for shape. Uh huh. angle it. hands looked at difficult angles. The internet is full of pictures you need for reference. I decided to use it. Use it sparingly. I move the sheets around until the composition is refined. you’re doing a drawing. every tree branch or eyelash. Whenever you can. my drawings improved. pedestrian. Perfect the composition. First. Draw with it. you’ll understand what you learned from tracing. No photograph records life exactly. you’ll likely do this by cutting and pasting the reference together on the computer. . I get different line weight by varying the pressure on the pencil. it took time. I used it less and less. lame. drive yourself to get good enough to draw with it. 9. In life drawing classes we work from the model. Ultimately. Then I use reference to draw separate elements of a complex composition on separate slips of tracing paper. Edit detail. it’s a GUIDE. Use your own photography. It’s not about tracing the image exactly. I could actually feel how an arm foreshortened. I used it to train my drawing skills and improve them. It’s a composition guide. I use the side of the lead. You must learn to recognize when they do and don’t and be able to compensate. I remember that using the point of the pencil is boring if all the line weight is the same. Best that way. As I trained with tracing. faster colleagues were covering far richer ground. It’s a guide. back and forth. I would master it and use it to inform my skills. Besides. 4. folds. otherwise your work looks lifeless. Give it your own technique. Forget about drawing every strand of hair. I used tracing to learn anatomy. It’s a guide. Shoot what you need. Like anything else. 8. I design the composition with thumbnails. The next time you draw from life. don’t trace. But you have to know when it’s telling you a lie about reality. It instantly improved my drawing skills. By tracing. Same for tracing. hair. Draw. 1. Generalize the reference for the most part. Photos adjust the image from three dimensions to two. sitting before us. Back and forth. and contrast. and I began to keep up with the guys around me who chuckled to themselves at my naivete. It’s the same thing. Nothing is cheating. The next time you trace. Distortion Happens. I refused to use any kind of projection. but I had to focus on it. noses. Memorize anatomy? What kind of alchemy is this? Most instructors think you learn anatomy by simply drawing the model. It’ll look like you traced it. especially drawing from my head. It’s about using the image as a guide to correct proportions and delineate shadows. They do not. 2. draw for tone. Do not believe that photographs are real or telling you about reality. 5. But what happens when they’re not there? What most art schools fail to tell you is that you’re supposed to be memorizing. you’ll understand more from your life drawing. or shadow.When I was hired for my first studio job. Memorize First off. I could understand how eyes. It improved my memorization skills. roll it. any kind of tracing whatsoever. Then as I watched the hours tick away while my other better. No. 3. it didn’t happen right away. Artists have been using this since the Dawn of Illustration. I found it a fascinating teacher. but I use them only as reference to draw from. It’s already distorted.
and they’re never extra. There's no forgiveness in this business. Anybody who says you're cheating. Sorry. you have my permission to. tell her to get over it. your presentation. If Leonardo could’ve used today’s technology.About Portfolios -Gregory Manchess If you were drawn to this post. That’s just part of the training. Now. 10 Things I Remember. Let’s see where you. not stumbling over what many artists fear: that promoting one’s work considered artistic prostitution. You’re already thinking about how to sell your work. enlighten them. is the underlying key principle.If I hear another artist talk about being a purist and only drawing from the model. I do whatever it takes to get the idea to the canvas because it all changes from there. This is a fundamental part of any artist’s career: their portfolio. ‘this is what I do’ and. The thing that says. It should be easy for them to hold. no matter what form it takes. You must think like a pro from Day One. can go from here. the promise of your work being a good experience for a client. you bet your sweet maxilla he would’ve. really well.’ Even today. but the best thing I did at the beginning of my career was realize that I didn’t want a portfolio that . 1. Get rid of the clever faux cow skin covering and pop-up sparklers and surprise extras. but there’s no “cheating” in the art field. where we all. Honestly. You may find this odd. too. At this point in mankind’s search for Art. get over it. I’m gonna burst. This is about getting work and keeping clients. all is fair game. umm.. today. Convenient It should be a seamless endeavor for the client to look through your book. you’re probably serious about developing your portfolio. They’re never a surprise. ‘I do it really. when the classic black portfolio has been mostly replaced by the iPhone or iPad. Let’s be honest. Lighten up.. If your grandma's hurt because you trace photos.
They buy portraits. 8. If you don’t have it yet. Be smart. but you must end on one of the best possible pieces you’ve ever created. they shouldn’t put them all in one portfolio. You can carry just a handful of examples of your work if you are still putting a killer portfolio together. then work to get it. then that’s the time to add your drawings of figure work. Each successive piece can be of less quality than the first. editorial. don’t tell--no excuses I don’t care if Godzilla burst through your bathroom window and caused your printer to “mess up the color” of your prints. One look per book. explain that. Going for gaming? Then don’t show them your TIME portraits. Perfect reproductions Get quality reproductions into your portfolio. but then in the middle. how hard is that in today’s market? So. (“wow! you do so many things!!”--not what you want to hear) separate them as much as possible so that each book makes logical visual sense of what you are showing. 9. Oil with oil. I wanted my book to look like it had been used. hmm? You’d be surprised how many ignore this. guess who’s thinking you’ll be doing the same on their job? Uh huh. I don’t care what it costs. Research the client Learn what they buy. etc. Come on. right? You can’t imagine how many people put everything in their portfolio. have a very short portfolio. Start smart.’ Don’t be clever. I wasn’t beyond giving it a little ‘travel patina. They. Ever. you can take them through other pieces. “amateur!” “just graduated!” 5. That’s ok. If you are already making excuses for the portfolio. costumes. for cryin’ out loud. and in the meantime.. Only show the very best work you can do. Like it was a portfolio that people missed until they opened the thing and were surprised--at the quality. I let my book get beat up from multiple shippings and if it didn’t look the part.‘stood out. Not so much in the middle. If you do watercolor and oil and pastel and pen&ink and mixed media and digital. 6. And if you are going for gaming. before you show anyone. Multiple books Still fascinates me that many potential illustrators have not figured out that if they have a range of different styles. If you want to impress TIME Magazine. then make it look better. or your dog was raptured during The Second Coming. After that. If your book should look better. end smart Your best piece should smack them in the face on the first page. Show them what they buy. cartoons with cartoons. don’t fill your book with your conceptual paintings. Show. etc. Lose the figure studies Unless you’re applying at Disney for a studio job. not your “Death Drives A Pale VW” pulp fiction covers. And being ‘new to the business’ is no excuse. a publisher prints books on gardening. 7. That’s what those guys are looking for. it. Then put that kind of work in your book. DO NOT make excuses to any potential client. Which leads me to. become a part of the freelance landscape. Neither does the client. your next best piece should strike there. People remember beginnings and endings. your figure studies scream.. Not very hard to grasp. Only show the work you want to get If you want to get book cover work. Best work only Sounds simple. do not show your flower paintings. advertising. . won’t. digital with digital. End on a high note. If they’re impressed with your book and want to see more. Period. and then show the potential client a few samples of that killer work. that’s when you pull out your watercolor book.’ I wanted it to blend in. 3. Endless pages of drivel. 2. 4. Nothing else. Separate those different styles into several portfolios and only show a particular portfolio to a client that buys that look. Do not pad it with junk drawings. get.
That’s why I clear a path. These points will work for you. I can barely contain wanting to experience that quest. If I feel fearful. Use fear. I give myself a deadline.. The more I hesitated. 2. Below are a few things I’ve used over the years to forge ahead. A pit in my gut that suggests that time is passing and I’ve nothing to show for it. better solutions. 10 Things I Remember. We’ve spent thousands of years evolving. I have to fail first. I want to feel the same strokes. There is no other way. I am about to discover what makes me tick. It was simply fear. it had to stimulate. I want it to be authentic and real.10. I hesitated: procrastination. 5. 3. But I know that failure leads to interesting combinations. Paralysis. (even though I trip over both) I know that every effort I make now is rewarded down the line by saving me future effort. make room. the ideas of other painters stimulates something deep inside. Procrastination. as the saying goes. I’ve always been in a hurry. but only after tons of effort. after having put in tons of effort on other paintings. For example: ‘I must put something on the page by 3 pm or I will get “those feelings” back. Sometimes. I don’t want to fail because it’s irritating and painful.’ Feelings of inadequacy. If they buy both portraits and fairy paintings. I should be afraid. success. until it was so great I couldn’t start since it would surely fail on any level: paralysis. Make it urgent. certainly. Lots of times I look at others’ work. learning. Rinse and repeat. Make that effort. it had to make women weep. the bigger the problem became. I hate wasting time on worry or hesitation. And no. There’s nothing to be afraid of. and I fear that I might be an imposter. testing. Studying the paint. an hour. it had to make clients call me. I begin whether I want to or not. It had to solve every problem of my portfolio development. other than I have a very heartfelt impression of life being very short.. It’s fickle and unreliable. then adjust your book to reflect that. Sometimes. but your work must look professional and succinct. Fail first. 1. but you have to apply them. and absolutely no fun. Force a deadline. a new one pops out almost having painted itself. the color. So forget that junk. At first. Seek stimulation. I promise. . Flexible uses After you’ve researched the client and know what they buy. it had to thrill. So. Use smart ways to show off your work. Clients remember a presentation because it’s a reflection of your potential job performance. Once in a while. we just don’t need that much to begin. I know I’m on to something. I want to understand the same feelings for myself. We’re all afraid of discovery. go through your work and rearrange your pieces into another book or another presentation that will focus toward that particular client. In fact. Always have. sometimes things come quickly. Idea abandoned. Could be a week.About Procrastinating Ever hear of the three P’s? Perfection. Life is full of distractions. 4. the shapes. Yes. there aren’t exactly ten points here. and show up on time for my own deadline. Think of your portfolio as flexible. I’m not sure why. Everyone does. a day. I used to start a piece needing it to be the best thing ever: perfection. Leave your horse and motorcycle paintings out. Don’t wait for inspiration. It was too much to accomplish.
10 Things to Remember about Training “10 Things” is a post of lists. Staying flexible and thinking against the norm are hallmarks for the painter. begin. Build luck and use it. 5. playing an instrument. Draw Now. You must train to learn how to create them. It breaks every spell. You already are. it’s called luck. acting. etc. I listen to and watch other painters talk about their struggles. Repeat . You are already connected. The writer must start putting words on paper. like everything else about being an artist. I know from painting what is needed. Conceptual art without skill is nothing. You won’t find your style. I’m happy for you. All painting is re-painting. as you’ve been working on it already for a long time. Just begin. Got a favorite part of a painting? Learn to paint it out. Nothing. Repetition is key to keeping momentum. I must start drawing. Share the struggle. And I steal their magic powers to push on through. your style finds you. When preparation meets opportunity. One doesn’t get better at ideas by thinking better thoughts. I glean enthusiasm and inspiration from watching other artists penetrate the same travails that I encounter. Nothing is solved or expressed until I throw down a perimeter and draw within it. Ideas without followthrough are useless. based on years of painting experience and research into origins of talent. and learn to be authentic. 4. the expression. This is a series I’ve begun. Drawing it once is never enough. Prepared or not. Do it over and over. Learn to discern. focusing on improvement each time. things to keep in mind as you go along. I can start to understand the problem. it creates more ideas. I put thumbnails down. Challenge is the key element. build the mood. drawing doesn’t create answers. Think about it next. their form. their techniques.. Train yourself to search for the good ones. Painting is similar to writing. what to do with them. Ideas are cheap. Don’t wait for it. “Oh. 7. Take the higher road. Draw your fool head off. When I write.6. The sooner the better. and discoveries. Things about drawing. learning. building a portfolio. The patterns are similar and the principles are always the same. Draw. but that’s not momentum. these things are not set in stone. Paint them again and this time shoot to get it right. working in the business. Learn to be authentic. of course. Do not try to save those good mistakes. Luck happens when you are ready for it. Contrary to so-called avant guard thinking. I don’t get writer’s block. If you are authentic to who you are. Create your own luck by being prepared to see it when it’s about to happen. Forget about being original. to generate good ones from practice. but draw. Painting it once isn’t either. Yet. When one painting is done. and how the brain learns. it’s so original!” Bah. what is important from what is frivolous. It is all stowed inside. a writer will break that hesitation by throwing words on paper. Finished one good piece? Great. Doesn’t matter how bad. 2. 3. What you have to say is important because we all want to know.under your control. _____________________________________________________________________ 1. talent. research. Same for me. Even scientific endeavors follow paths which are similar to all idea creation. Learn to paint over it. and momentum is key to gaining successful training. Do it again. move into the next as soon as possible. and you are ready for it when you’re prepared: training. Think Next. and learning. but it won’t be easy. Nobody is an expert by doing something good once. painting. This first list is based on how to keep yourself moving along. Draw first. Create momentum. There are parallels to all forms of creating.. No one is quite like you anyway. You won’t see it if you don’t know what to look for. immediately. There is ONLY this.
there is no actual 'line' around a subject. When they tell you how to repair it. It’s rather easy to recognize the parts of someone else’s work that are problematic. “Ever tried. we follow the line until it meets another line. But learn from it as you do. To your last breath. drop-to-your-knees. which we will then follow again. I had to do this. so you can move into the next one. And remember: it’s meant for you. Which leads me to criticism: learn to take it. The brain is just as happy to build strong nerves to reinforce bad habits. 8. they are usually correct. Here’s the problem: I wanted to be the kind of good that when I looked at my own work. Finding your own? Tough as nails. And that was going to take time. Training as a painter is like training as an athlete. When someone tells you what’s off about your work. and use it well. Grow some thick skin. Trick is. It strengthens the nerves to send signals faster. You can use that stuff. And then quit. scary part of it was that I realized very quickly that it was going to take training. The illusion of a contour is simply a result of different values and colors contrasting one another. Everyone has an opinion. I wasn’t about to spend all those years to come away feeling awkward about my attempts. Do not take it personally. I actually liked it. Finish the stupid thing already. The absolute.it focuses on the skill. Fail better. Not only will our attention navigate immediately towards these implied lines. effort. musician. Take criticism well. and you are the only one that can use it. and so on. A great composition makes strong use of this natural attraction to line. Draw through. No way. Or. It builds nerve fibers to speed up learning. and hone in. you want to build that stuff for good uses. but try to decipher what it is they are coaching you about. we can decide exactly what path we want our viewer's eye to take. and we can thereby determine what object the contour was describing. But even the mere impression of a line is strong. and our eyes will go directly to it. the brain wants to learn and will do everything it can to get the advantage. and learning to feel a sense of progress. Do not allow failure to dictate your progress. otherwise. Fail and fail again. Composition Basics: Implied Line -By Dan dos Santos Implied lines are a very important aspect of a good composition because it is often one of the first things the viewer notices. especially about your work. pilot. Do not look for the shortcuts until later. Unless they’re a jerk. Keep finishing. man. even when it wasn’t working in the least. The goal doesn’t dwell on the applause-. I was ok at drawing. It is now an indisputable fact that the brain is plastic. there are golden nuggets of wisdom in there. not around. No matter. That every time I drew. 10. By creating strong lines for the eyes to follow. Stop quitting. The only way to get to that stage is to hunker down. Learning a language lights up many of the same parts of your brain as learning to draw a hand. You will push through that failure and keep moving. for efficiency. Train yourself through it. Fail again. 6. even into old age. but our eyes then follow their entire length until that line ends. Work for good habits. I had to get it as right as I could at that very moment. You must push against that. Try Again. Years ago.your successes. they are nearly always incorrect. 9. I was going to have to push through that crap. The way around is through. Seek advice. but I needed to get better. --Samuel Beckett 7. and more . dammit. When painting realistically. Ever failed.
locking the viewer's eyes in a general area. to our subject's face. To bring more attention to a particular character. whether you're working for print or web. You can also use implied lines to frame (or encase) the subject's face. down her arm. make surrounding objects. the borders of your composition are an implied line too! In addition to using implied line to draw the viewer's eye all around a composition. holding their attention. That current also brings their eyes past every important element of the painting. you can use the same method to make someone look immediately at your chosen focal point. and keep it there. and the character's face is what is most important. down the woman's arm. you can do it repeatedly. and then back up to the cape. . This creates a nice circular 'current' that keeps the viewer's eyes flowing around the composition repeatedly. swords.. one at a time. You can see a strong contour that follows along the cape. This is particularly useful when your image is a portrait or a pin-up. Take for instance this painting entitled 'Poison Sleep". where we want that path to end. In fact. And don't forget. like arms.. from multiple directions.importantly. and buildings point to your subject.
thereby making the silhouettes very easy to read… and that's important! Legibility is essential to a good picture. and the foreground predominantly black tones. This is why you will see technique employed so often in trading card art. and there are a lot of combinations. By restricting your values in each of these areas you visually reinforce your image's sense of depth. Or. white. Middleground. you could reverse it. Of course. especially at a small scale. Here are three examples of Dore. Muddy value structures hurt the viewer's ability to discern shapes. you can let the background be predominately white tones. favoring either black. middleground and background. I try to restrict each area to a general range of value. and Background. I tend to think in triatic arrangements of Foreground. each one showcasing a different arrangement of black. the middleground predominantly greys. When your piece of art is going to be reproduced at just a few inches tall. Tryptic value schemes like this are readily apparent in Old Masters works. -----BACKGROUND: WHITE MIDDLEGROUND: GREY FOREGROUND: WHITE ----- BACKGROUND: GREY MIDDLEGROUND: BLACK FOREGROUND: WHITE . high contrast compositions work especially well. In order to heighten the relationship between each of these various depths. or grey. particularly in the engravings of Gustave Dore. white and grey in order to emphasize the difference between foreground. For instance.Composition Basics: Value Structure -By Dan dos Santos When constructing my compositions. any arrangement of these three values will work.
Once again. you can arrange these temperature in any order. I am always careful to squint at my piece. to better separate. Cool and Neutral. As I paint the image. or unite.. either Black. What does matter is finding a method that makes sense to you. which are arguably the weakest values in a composition since they describe neither light or shadow.value you ensure focus and legibility in even the busiest of compositions! Once I've decided on the basic value structure. their intent is the same. In doing so. or even 5 basic values really becomes moot once the subtleties are added.. Andrew Loomis. 3. It really doesn't matter which method you use. Try breaking your composition down into three distinct temperature ranges: Warm. That very same principal can be applied to Color Temperature as well. I showed how we can emphasize the spacial distance between Foreground. Either way. areas of a composition through restricted values. By using tryptic schemes for both color temperature -and. . I reinforce that with the same tryptic structure of color temperature. But just like the value range. I chose to make the background neutral. they eliminated the midtones. Near White. the middleground warm. restricting certain areas to a particular range of temperature will create a more legible composition and a greater sense of depth. Just like value. White or Grey. In this case. making sure that the general impression of the area still falls within the temperature range I decided on earlier. I incorporate a lot of different colors into each of these areas. 4. but instead utilized 4 values: White. I discussed a basic Value Structure technique. and many other illustrators have implemented a similar method. Black and Near Black. and Background by restricting each area to a specific part of the value scale. Composition Basics: Temperature Structure -By Dan dos Santos A few days ago. and the characters of the foreground cool.BACKGROUND: BLACK MIDDLEGROUND: WHITE FOREGROUND: GREY Howard Pyle. Whether you started with 2. Middleground.
It cannot replace a website because it's not a gallery. You're all wrong … If you are a freelancer. and it could be very interesting for those who like your work AND those who have an interest in your processes. DON'T DO IT YOURSELF. clans. Ask to a webdesigner to do it for you. etc. in fact. That's why I said : if you want honest critics. you can be sure to be viewed and followed. it's not a problem. People can follow you so they will be informed if you update your blog and they can share your posts too. There are friends. Of course. Yes. polite relationships and sometimes hate. of course. we can't blame them for that. However. 20 years ago. you hate maketing. If you're not on the list. Yes. have honest friends. Being a forum moderator is a quite a difficult (and unpaid) job. it's a bit weird but it's true. I'm working for clients all over the world now. * Blog : A lot of artists have a blog because it's easier to create and update. The internet is an incredible tool for sharing your work. and it could be dangerous because we are a community. I only worked for clients living in my own town or on my own country. Illustrators websites are usually the worst websites ever. It's not easy to dare writing negative comments on a well known artist's picture. I know. it's not the same job. videos. we like having kind or constructive comments but the real motivation is only to have your pictures viewed by a lot of people. Let me explain to you how it works… All forums have a front page system. news. Most of us post on forums to promote ourselves. which means moderators choose pictures every day / week / month. Ok. If you really want honest critics. enemies. It may sound strange but it's all about politics. articles. and it could be hard to find a specific post or specific pictures. I know. If you are on the list.Promoting Yourself On The Internet -By Serge Birault Yes. And ask him/her to do one which can be easily updated. it should be the main goal. Self promoting is too boring and time consuming for you and it's a waste of time. * Forums : There are various forums on the internet. So. They try to promote emerging artists too.it costs money. which they use to choose the pictures on the front page. the less your comments are honest. They often have a list of artists who usually do good work. I know . it's often the opposite. It no longer works this way. Keep in mind only people who know your name can find it. more exposure than the others. try to post your better works and be patient. you're able to do good pictures . All of those pictures have. You're an illustrator not a designer. you can post articles. have some honest illustrator friends give you feedback.Keep in mind most of your followers work in the same field as you. The main goal of posting on forums is to have comments or critics of your work. you have to try to be a part of it. you cannot spend your time searching for clients. WIPs and/or videos. It's the link you send to your clients.that doesn't mean you able to do good designs. Here are some key points: * Website : Having your own website is a necessity. Well. The more famous you are. And there are a lot of pictures. you're an artist. but it's more difficult because they have to sift through all of the pictures submitted. It's normal. but you have to find a way to make you visible on the internet. it's the only .
Just sayin'. *Audience Of course. so I share pictures of lovely models.solution. I know the people who follow me are usually in the CG field. don't forget that the internet can be a wonderful place. in efficient way. social networks are crawling with chaos and VERY time consuming. Artists think their works are not products. We have to earn money with our pictures. Some pictures I posted 10 years ago are still visible on the internet. So the people on the list move to another forum. Try to avoid merging your «personal» page and your «pro» page. your relationships … A lot of parameters you cannot really control. Don't forget : Happy clients make good publicity. If you have large audience. believe me. Sometimes. You can discover incredible artists. So we sometimes have to think about how to sell them. I worked for a famous Spanish band last year and they mention my name everytime they can. I spoke for the first time with some of my idols via facebook. for example. speak with them and share their works. . so I share my WIPs and do tutorials and videos. but they are wrong. However. I know. It's about how to sell yourself. A little advice for all the beginners . don't expect to have too much exposure on their forum. Forums are usually owned by publishers. Real friendship is not pushing a «like» button. You can have large audience on the internet without all of this. If you have a bad relationship with these publishers. On the other hand. I discovered a lot of great artists who don't post on CG forums. Use them carefully. *Last words : It's a very cynical article. just «virtual» ones. You can fill up this empty space in an efficient way by promoting other artists. people who like your work want to learn more about your life. find inspiration or motivation. pin up photographers or other pin up artists. and they follow me because I do technical stuff. Simple advice . I think you already know this sentence. Of course.NEVER work for free. However. Sometimes it's very useful. etc. Social networks are great tools to post your works and get quick feedback. Promoting yourself is boring and time consuming. It depends of what you do. you can work for a cheap price if you are sure your client can REALLY promote you. the list becomes too long. and. you can find new «real» friends this way. * Social networks : A «new» and interesting way to promote yourself. *Clients : "We cannot pay you but we will promote you".wait a little bit before posting on a forum. this is not mathematics. You can learn new techniques. from all over the world. The internet is not just a market place. sometimes by people who don't have any interest on illustration and who don't know you. They can share your work with a simple click. a lot of websites share frontpage pictures. and potential clients sometimes find you directly by this way. *Other ways : You have to know your audience. know what to do with it. You cannot have news or new stuff to show everyday. that's right. and the forum slowly died. I use it to post my WIPs and I often have interesting critics or new ideas. Sad but true. But it's more difficult. Just don't forget they're not «real» friends. I'm not very proud of some of them! When forums are too big. your skills. By the way. The others are pin up fans. You can easily exchange messages with artists you like too.
I really needed to alter the sense of space. I have been working on a painting that has a very strong graphic treatment. Pt. The background elements were meant to be more decorative than dimensional. The past few weeks. with just the strength of Lincoln's hand. it's much harder than it looks! There are two means by which Norman seemed to accomplish this feat: The first.Appreciating Rockwell. the figures still showed great form. is soft lighting. hoping to find a solution to my particular problem. it makes it really hard to determine just how far away those two objects are from one another. this is a pitfall when trying to . and onto other forms. was combine strong realism with a strong graphic composition. is it a simple means by which we can estimate the spacial distance between those forms. The way the suspender echoes the man's chains. One of the things Rockwell did particularly well. Someone once told me that "A good design is one in which you've removed everything you can remove". 3 -Dan dos Santos When struggling with a pictorial problem. There is so much I love about this painting. The way he's managed to tell a whole story. Normally. but in my personal experience. Of course. 2 Here is another Rockwell painting that is seen far too infrequently. and in order to get them to work well. and is what inspired me to create this series of posts. Rockwell was a perfect inspiration for this. there are a few artists I find myself continuously going back to. This may seem simple (especially when the background is white). I think this painting is a nice example of that notion. Even though the sense of space was shallow. and implied a whole life-time of conviction. Norman Rockwell is definitely at the top of that go-to list. The way the canvas echoes Lincoln's form. By eliminating those shadows. Pt. Appreciating Rockwell. Because cast shadows cascade across a form.
achieving a very neutral eye-level. Not only does the lack of cast shadows allow him to move things around. That's OK. Again. he could combine all those shots into one drawing. front. If the viewer can't determine what eye-level a figure should be at. and feet. if you are like the majority of artists I know. like a blank canvas. high or low. If there is no contrast between the light and shadow shapes. waist..achieve a realistic environment. focusing separately on the head. the local value and color of a shape will take on MUCH more importance. He would often take multiple shots of a single figure. allowing him to move. you paint in your basement (or in your bathroom if you live in NYC). Norman went to great lengths to get the right kind of lighting he needed for a particular painting. and you need to shoot under artificial light. scale. By making the light source extremely soft. he eliminated the strong shadows. but it also places an emphasis on tonal shapes. this could be accomplished with any number of objects. or even a bed sheet or piece of paper. it doesn't matter! . wouldn't that be nice. back. This is vital when trying to achieve a graphic affect. The second means by which Rockwell achieved this non-descript sense of space is by creating a neutral eye-level. This could be a soft-box. Yeah. with little worry about accuracy. A reflector bounces light BACK onto a model. The key to soft light is diffusorsand reflectors. an umbrella. However. A diffusor softens the light coming out of the bulb BEFORE it hits the model.. That way. but Norman used it to his advantage. a big studio with large skylights facing north. So how can you get a soft sense of light on your own model? Ideally.. and overlap objects however he saw fit.. the artist is free to move that figure anywhere he wants.
In his painting 'Golden Rule" (bellow). 4 -By Dan dos Santos . soft lighting. you can see how Norman Rockwell uses both. Pt. and a neutral eye-level. Appreciating Rockwell. to great affect in order to create a very graphic composition.
graphic approach to picture making became a trademark of sorts. But even when Norman wasn't painting Saturday Evening Post covers.C.C's influence on his work was quite apparent.C. to be exact). James Gurney recently blogged about some similarities between Rockwell's work and some European painters. .'s influence was hard to avoid. artist J. which he started painting at the young age of 22. His clean. J. and some of those styles show a particularly strong influence from other artists. especially in the early years of Norman's career. and had established a well defined look for the magazine. But before he started doing covers for the weekly magazine. Norman Rockwell has had many different styles throughout his long career (4000 paintings long. Norman was even a pallbearer at J.C. Their run on the magazine overlapped for about 20 years. Leyendecker had already been painting them for decades. and Norman kept with that theme when he did Saturday Evening Posts covers as well. and the two became very good friends over that time.'s untimely funeral. This was no great secret of course. and I thought it would be nice to explore this notion further.Norman Rockwell has undoubtedly had a great influence on the illustration world. J. Arguably the most popular illustrator of the time. but rarely do we consider those who influenced him. Norman is probably most well known for his Saturday Evening Post covers.
. Considered a pioneer in the field.S. but photography was quickly catching on. but later turned his eye toward the much more lucrative market of advertising. since they were working at much the same time. One of the most successful photographers of the time was Nickolas Muray. they created what we now consider sentimental Americana. Army Teaches Trades'. I thinks it's fair to say that both Muray and Rockwell were influenced by each other. by J. Muray became well known for his sentimental depictions of family. Together. Leyendecker.C. by Norman Rockwell. no doubt had a strong affect on Rockwell.'Men Reading'. Muray specialized in celebrity portraits. 1914 'U. seen in just about every major periodical there was at the time. amongst other things. and often dealing with the same subject matter. But Muray's work. During the early 1900's illustration dominated the advertising market. Early in his career. 1919 Rockwell's contemporary influences didn't stop there.
3 of this series). it's natural to assume that Norman was at least somewhat knowledgable about European painters as well. who died in 1926. A lot of compositional similarities can be found between their works. Buland. I expect Norman was familiar with a Parisian painter named Jean-Eugène Buland. and was well schooled in the arts. But what about non contemporary influences on Norman Rockwell? Norman Rockwell started painting at a very young age. A voracious learner. by current trends in the market place. ended his career just as Rockwell was beginning his. So what's the point of this post. and in the case of an illustrator. we are all influenced by our surroundings. . it's reassuring to think that he was doing the very same thing with his favorite artists nearly a hundred years ago. It's also encouraging to know that even the greatest of artists are not without their influences. and how exactly can we even consider this 'Appreciating Rockwell'? I believe that to fully appreciate a thing.Obviously. it's necessary to understand the context from which it came. having studied under such legendary teachers like George Bridgeman at the Art Students League in NYC. When I thumb through a book on Rockwell hoping to find inspiration. and treated their subjects with a graphic quality by utilizing a 'neutral eye level' (which we discussed in Pt. These similarities are especially apparent in the way they both flattened the picture plane.