Hello. Folks know me online as Shaowebb and I'm an animator just looking for a place to share, get feedback and to discuss art technique. Given my long love of comicbooks this forum seemed the best place to go. Here I'll share sketches, and colored pieces as I create them and I'll try to share any insights I can via Screenr links to show how I create my work and use the tools I generally employ.
I use for my art:
Wacom Intuos 4 large tablet
Photoshop CS 5.5
General array of 4h-2B pencils (I rough light in 4h and go over in softer leads to refine)
I figure since this is a site for hand drawn work I can leave off all my CG stuff, but PM me if you want links or something.
Anyhow here are some of my works. I try to draw about anystyle I can and these pieces range from roughs, to colored pieces, to just a mishmash of concept thumbnails that have no attention to measurement or anything in them that are just fast drafts I jotted down for ideas. Any feedback would be great as I'm trying to polish my work off before college ends to find some studio work anywhere from animation, to games, to comics. Hopefully we can all share some ideas. I look forward to meeting you all.
Like I said, I try to poke around at a little bit of everything. I even try for the anime and cartoonish animal stuff since its a decent fallback skill commercially. Any feedback would be great on the detailing. Everything is done using simple brush tools in photoshop to go over linework done on paper to clean it up. I then flat the lined image, and then do layers set to screen or multiply to add light and shadow work. General flow/opacity of brushes is anywhere from as low as 12 to as high as 60 (rarely more...I stay near 40/60 opacity flow).
Tips, thoughts or scowls are all welcome here. I could use the critiques.
I did this one just messing around on limb practice. Started out just practicing a fist and decided to keep going and eventually the detailing just sort of ran away with me. Rough was finished in a surprisingly short amount of time across my breaks at work (30 minutes or so total) the full colored took much longer given all the clean up on line work, then flatting, and lighting/shadowing it took. Still one of my bests though.
Thanks for the compliments guys. I actually had the good fortune of running into some really top tier pros at a convention last week in WV (Tri-Con). I talked to Steve Scott, Dennis Calero, and Jim Calafiore for a good long while and got critiqued by each of them. General consensus was really positive of my work and especially of perspective knowledge, color, and environmental. The points they wanted me to work on was figure drawing and realism over my stylized stuff as my proportions are a little lanky. They could tell I learned to draw more from comics than from people and all three felt if I spent all my time focused more on figure drawing and realism for awhile that I would improve greatly and really start to shine.
Also after the advice of Steve Scott I've begun working in larger sizes now (18x24 instead of 8x10).
This means I can capture more detail as I'll have more space and since I can have that sort of thing scanned into various sizes of jpegs to color digitally later by going to Office Depot its no big deal. In fact even if it costs me money to scan my work its worth it as I never run out of room to go deep on details now. Also Jim is a majorly awesome guy for not holding back on even the most subtle flaw or missed opportunity in my work to go farther. Guy was doing the poses in my stuff and everything to illustrate his points on portions of my work. Its really hard to find guys who will go for broke like that in a critique so you can really learn to push. Dennis Calero and Jim both pointed out something major too...I rely too much on my digital ink to ink my linework and it robs me of finer lines and more organic effects. Im switching to brush pens, and dip pens now to fix this before I scan meaning my cleanup work is now relegated to eraser work rather than tracing work. When two DC comic Batman veterans can take two seconds and tell you how everything was made and how it limited you its legit advice.
Also, all three gave me one piece of really cool advice; never stick to pinups. Sequential art is the only way to know if you can really draw. Woop-de-doo and good for you because you did a good pinup shot, but draw him having a normal conversation across six panels with bodylanguage, proper framing and varied expression that pops and then you'll really be an artist. These men were so unbelievably cool in their honesty its hard to describe guys. I can't even state all the things I learned. Best compliments I got was when Jim Calafiore said you can tell if someone can or can't draw and he thought I definitely could but needed someone to really enforce to me more figure drawing and realism to make me able to really go places. The other major thing was Steve Scott simply told me I was going to make it and then gave me his facebook, email, and phone number. I'm sooooooo going to have to push my work before I submit anything to him for some critique work the next time I contact him. I'm hoping I can occasionally use his critiques if he's not swamped to mentor my work into a more solid level. If he's busy its all good anyways because he gave me enough advice on what to push harder at and on how to improve that I honestly believe I can live up to his statement someday of making it.
Sorry, I'm still overwhelmed is all and I'm just now getting to post all the feedback I got. Its pretty wild and I'm practicing like mad right now.
Also since you want to know how I colored things I have some Screenr casts that are only 5 minutes long that were from an old class that will show you exactly how I did my color work.
Here you go.
STEP 1 How to clean up line work on a computer AKA why most people are TERRIBLE on computers at art.
5 minutes and I explain how to make proper strokes for the best results and how to set your brush settings properly to make the cleanest lines. You can also go to your brush styles and play with the stroke style too in order to adjust the tapering of your lines at the beginning and end of your strokes to simulate more organic lines like those made by pens in real life. Also you could use the pen tool if you want completely even line weight to create a more vectored looking set of lines. Personally, I pen it all in but if I'm gonna help then I'm not gonna omit options.
STEP 2: Flatting! How to layout your base tones and color quickly and in a manner that lets you make changes easily later if needed.
5 minutes. I break down flatting which is the process of putting down your base colors and tones on your image. This is how you color fast and like crazy really quickly. Most of your shading and other tone all happens later on other layers. To learn to color properly learn to flat properly and set these tones down on seperate layers first because if you need to change colors later you can simply go to each color's base tone layer (its flatted layer) and scroll along hue/saturation levels to change it to any tone you want without having to redo the whole image. This allows for a lot of quick tweaking along the way. Iron man not yellow enough? We can fix it. Hulk too bright? We cool.
STEP 3: Lighting and shadows! Only difference in how they are made is one uses multiply blend mode and the other uses Screen
This is how I did all my lighting effects. I think I oversimplified my explanation of the Multiply layer style here, but it was like 3 am when I did it. Point is Multiply stacks layers on each other. If you got a black and white image and you put it to multiply you can simply put a layer under it and brush in color to color in your work's flatting. I often put multiply over my stuff though and use it to paint my dark shadow tones because it'll add my top tones to my lower layers color and darken them up like real shadows. Plus by layering my lights and darks onto screen or multiply layers I can change lighting schemes like mad simply by changing the hue saturation of that layer. Instant changes baby! That laser looks out of place as green? Change it to blue and not bat an eye as all the lighting in the scene is handled at once without needing to start from scratch or do any tricky selecting or erasing.
5 minute vid. In it I show the look of a lighting layer set to screen placed above layers, below normal layers, and even below multiplied layers. I teach you to make fire and such too.