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    Member Advice Collection Thread

    While reading a piece of advice given by nisaren in critique corner, i began to think about what a waste it would be for this useful advice to disappear after only a few views. I created this thread to document (somehow) the various pieces of advice that experienced members give about drawing.

    So, keep this thread in mind if you come across a great tip or explanation or anything art-related, and post the quote here. I'll add it to the list!

    General/Misc. Art
    SPOILER! :
    Quote Originally Posted by nisaren View Post
    It looks pretty good overall. I think that there are a couple things that you can do to bring out the sense of space in the picture.

    1) Try to have a foreground, midground, and background. You seem to have the mid- and background at the moment but no real foreground. Having a foreground brings the viewer into the picture more. It could just be some branches or leaves poking up around the edges of the picture to give the impression of someone peering through the brush. The foreground is always very dark in value compared to the midground which is again dark compared to a very desaturated and light background.

    2) Really accentuate the difference in values between the fore-, mid-, and background. If something is behind something else make it lighter, even if what you are lightening is a part of an object in the same plane. This helps to give a better sense of space. For example, the three central trees should be lighter than the two outer trees as they are further away from the viewer.

    3) Make the focus of your painting large. It's hard to keep a person's attention on a small focal point. You do a good job, however, of using the angles the trees are leaning to guide the viewer's eyes towards the monument/tombstone in the middle. A good test to see if your painting reads well is to zoom waay out until the picture is no bigger than a thumbnail sketch size and see if you can still understand what the painting is trying to communicate.

    4) It's a good idea to include something as a reference for size. You could have a bird or some other wildlife that the viewer can use easily figure out how large the objects are in the picture. It can also serve as a way of indicating space if you include some that are large and close versus small and further away, as our ideas of space include the size of similar objects. Using this it can allow us to judge the actual size of the objects in the scene. Right now I'm asking myself, "Is this really a mammoth monument in an ancient forest with enormous trees? Or just a small tombstone with three normal trees around it?"

    Hopefully, that helps a little. You're definitely on the the right track. If you want to explore what I've talked about more, you can watch Feng Zhu's tutorials on youtube or his site. I really have learned a lot from watching them and I can't recommend them enough. Here's his school of design's website -
    Quote Originally Posted by apples13 View Post
    some beginners get lost in this "routine" that you must do everything in a certain way.
    in terms of designing as long as you have a basic understanding of the illusions created on paper that should be a great starting point.
    for example do you understand that things in the background appear smaller than things in the foreground?
    do you understand general perspective stuff. even though it is on 2d paper you can create 3 dimensional objects.( start with a simple cube or sphere) also when you move 1 thing it will affect something else . if you move your arm up what muscles also go up besides the muscles on the arm? ( answer: muscles on the chest will also be stretched)

    there is 2 ways to get better at drawing.

    1. to practice hand eye( and brain) coordination
    ( are you making smooth lines like you want? and you creating the type of shape you want? can you mentally measure things?)
    2. to observe and understand the illusion of drawing to create these 3d forms on 2d, techniques to convey emotion( how to change the face or body to represent different things), and styles that communicate a certain feeling to your viewer( is it cute? is it strong? is it scary?)

    either way it takes time.
    there are also things I call "secret tricks" that more advanced artists understand which allow them to short cut into creating certain illusions. ( maybe it takes you a few hours to do something a more advanced artist can do in a few minutes with a certain short cut technique

    these "secret techniques" are what help you get past certain types of art blocks and will help you advance in art if you feel like your progression is slowing down. on the other hand sometimes even after learning these secret techniques you are not able to utilize them because your foundation is not strong enough, in which case you have to try to improve those foundations and improve your understanding of design before you try out the technique again.

    I hope this helps

    Speech Bubbles
    SPOILER! :
    Quote Originally Posted by Rio View Post
    lol Heck no! Speech bubble placement is much related to composition as it would in regular drawings. Well, at least to those who do it well, it's an art in and of itself. Those who do it well have speech bubbles that flow yet don't cover up the images in the panel while those who suck at it mess up the reading flow from one bubble to another or don't consider the end result in regards to everything else around it.

    Anyways, I would suggest you read Will Eisner's books on Sequential Art and Graphic Storytelling. They'll make you look at speech bubbles and comic book storytelling in a whole new light.
    Last edited by Fenn; 07-06-2011 at 11:18 PM.


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