Foreshortening and Difficult Poses

In drawing the figure, I noticed that there are poses where I have a hard time trying to get it right. These two examples are loosely based on two photos. The first one was quick and easy. The second one was a lot more difficult and challenging to get it right. I didn’t understand why that is. Then I came across a video by LoveLifeDrawing on YouTube that explains this strange phenomenon: Why is this figure drawing so HARD? Pose difficulty factors (WARNING: Video contains partial nudity).

Isn’t it encouraging to know that you’re not alone? Foreshortening [is] difficult, and a lot of us artists struggle with it. However, it’s not the end of the world! If you look through books such as “The Art of…” or “The Making of…” you most likely won’t see characters design in extreme poses. It’s only when you illustrate or seek to bring a concept to life that extreme poses often come into play.

If you can do basic front / back / side and 3/4 angle, you’re basically ready to go for concept art. Then there’s always photo references out there if you need help. Not to mention that there are 3d models that you can pose and draw on top. Do what you got to do.

Japanese / Chinese Paintings

I find lines and shapes beautiful, and I have much to talk about later on. But did you know that these paintings don’t have perspective? Isn’t it funny that we can look at something and not noticed the obvious until someone points it out? I love the brushstrokes of the Sumi-E. If we go by art rules, we say that these paintings are incorrect. But sometimes it’s not about having everything correct. Just do an image search for “Sumi-e” and see the beauty of it. If perspective were added and implemented, would that help the painting or destroys the beauty of Sumi-e? Something to think about.

Lines should be varied in length and width, they say, for it adds depths and dimensions which is true. Do an image search for “Tin Tin” and notice that it’s only one line width.

Holy is the Lord

There are a lot of great artists out there whose works and skills are above you and I. Sometimes you don’t want to look at them because you feel intimidated. This is something we can all relate. But let me encourage you to go pass this.

In the Bible, we learn and see that God is Holy. What was Isaiah’s reaction in the presence of the Holy One? “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips…” What about Job when God finally showed up? “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” On one hand, God is holy and we are not, on the other hand, we are to be holy just as He is holy. We are not to run away and hide like Adam did, but we are to come to the Light. Growing in holiness is a process, and the key is to set our eyes upon Christ. He is the Holy One and our example.

On some level, when we feel intimidated by great artworks by artists who are better than us, know that it’s a reflection of the greatness of our God. To improve and grow as an artist, we must look, not for the sake of looking, but look with purposes, and seek to imitate. We don’t just look at Christ, but we meditate on His attributes and words and imitate Him.

Why is coding so hard…

When reading articles or books written by other artists, we learn how artists approach and solve art problems. There are also insight and wisdom we can get when peeking into another world, such as music, math and so on, and in this case, programming or coding.

There are roadblocks everywhere, and even artists have them. We need to clear them before we can truly arrived. I remember when I got into digital painting for the first time, instead of learning and getting a good handle on the fundamentals, I went straight to coloring, after all, painting is all about color right? I subconsciously believed that learning to color and use color well will magically solve all the perspective and composition problems. These blocks will always be there and slow down our progresses if we do nothing about it. We see the same thing in human development. Even as Christians, trials that come into our lives are meant to teach and prepare us for what’s to come. If we ignore them, it will not help to sanctify us. The Spirit is always working to conform us to the image of Christ. Trials are one of the means to that end.

Art is also problem solving. The sooner you see this, the better it will be for you in this journey of yours.

Site Updates

  • Post published:August 2, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

I was going to make a switch to another webhosting because I didn’t see “Let’s Encrypt” in the cPanel. While searching for something I came across a video that shows how it’s done, and it’s now activated. I just need to remind myself to renew the certificate every 90 days, at no cost. Now I can have peace of mind when logging into the site while on the go if I ever need to.

Tablets

  • Post published:July 5, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

Looking for a tablet? Check out this video before you go out there to buy one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH1WEYF8rlA

In my opinion, you do not need an expensive tablet. All the experiments I did in Krita before June 2019 was done entirely with a [Wacom Intuos Draw] I got for less than $100 when it was on sale.

Recently I went and bought [Wacom Intuos Pro Pen 2] to see if there’s any difference. I can tell you that there’s [not much] difference. If you’re new and or just starting out doing things digitally, get the low end ones. If you find that you enjoy doing digital art, then just upgrade to the screen tablet later on (the kind where the tablet display everything and you draw directly on it).

Sketch / Pencil Effect in Krita

  • Post published:June 18, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

You can get a lot of nice pencil effect in Krita.

Quick test trying out various brushes in my SKETCHING collection.

This is my sketching collection (brush presets).

Beginners and Anatomy

  • Post published:May 30, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

If you have been watching this blog up till now, you might be thinking that I know a lot about anatomy. Truth is, I don’t. I have a lot of good anatomy books, but I rarely look at them. The reason why I have them is so that I can look into it later on when I need it. My advice to you if you’re just starting out is this: Don’t be too obsessed with anatomy books. That’s something you’ll pick up as you go. Most of the time when I’m sketching I just go with what “looks or feels right.”

If you’re fixated on anatomy and having everything correct when you’re starting out, then you won’t be able to experiment and have fun playing around. Experiment and play around with what you currently know. For example, right now I have a bit of knowledge about the Deltoid. The shape of the Deltoid helps me to rough out the shoulder. That’s it. I don’t know much else. Later on when I know more about the leg (for example), then I will start incorporating the knowledge into my sketches. In the meantime, I don’t worry about it, and I work with what I [currently know].

One more thing I want to share: The sketches you see below are broken into three days (Top, Mid, Bottom). In this example, I was exploring shapes. When you’re starting out or explore something new for the first time, you do not have full confidence because you’re in unknown/new territory. Your sketches might look funny but keep pressing on. In day two, I got a hang of it. Day three, I knew what I was doing and aiming for.

Sketching or Doodling

  • Post published:May 28, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

I don’t sketch that often, not on papers anyway. And the reason is that I suffer from this “I’m not good enough yet, and I don’t want to ruin my sketchbook” syndrome. Which is why I do a lot of sketching and doodling in Krita—that’s how I improved. That way, I don’t waste paper! However, there’s an disadvantage to this. The first is that you can’t sketch the variety of things you see in real life. Trees, houses, poles etc… And secondly, you can’t carry Krita with you when you’re on the road, waiting for a bus.

I thought that I was one of the few who suffers from the syndrome mentioned above, but apparently A LOT of beginner artists suffer from it, something I learned after watching this video:

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z1682ZFvDo,
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNgdeo9w9Dw

The artist in this video made a very good point about Pianists. Artists have this “fear” of messing up their sketchbooks because they have this “reverence” for them. On top of this, most of them make the excuse that they’re not good enough to draw in their sketchbook. As a result of this, the majority of them let their sketchbooks remain on the shelf collecting dusts, and they never improve because of that.

Pianists on the other hand do not suffer from this problem. After their practice session, there’s no record of it! All their mistakes went into thin air. They have no fear nor reverence. Mistakes are normal and it will soon be forgotten forever. Unless, of course they purposely record their practice session, but generally they don’t. That’s why after their practice, even if they suck or didn’t do well, there’s no record of it. But the act of playing the scale does something to the hands and brain, and that’s what matters in the end. Artists need to get into the habit of doodling. The whole idea behind doodling is the same idea behind a Pianist practicing his scale.

So I went out today and bought a few low quality sketchbooks. Since the purpose is not to make masterpieces, but to doodle and throw away or keep as a record.

These were done today on low quality sketchbook. Based on reference images on my monitor.

A Study on Birds

  • Post published:May 25, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

Birds isn’t my thing. I’m more interested in the human figure, but to grow as an artist, we must get outside of our comfort zone, and to always try out new styles and subjects. Nothing you do will become a waste. If that hand is moving, and that mind is thinking, it will in the end work out for your good, though you might not see how in the moment.

To me, art is problem solving. I was asked to draw a bird, something simple and basic. It must not be too realistic with tons of details. Since I’m not a bird artist, I have no idea where to begin. Then I remember what Rembrandt once said: “If you want to paint an apple, you’ve got to be an apple!” First step is to always study your subject, and become intimate with it. And since I’m not in a position where I can have easy access to birds, search engine is my only option. So I pulled out my sketchbook.

#1, #2: With no aim, I started to draw what I saw. #3,#4: but quickly realized that I needed to pick one specific bird, instead of drawing random birds. It’s a lot easier to study and analyze when you have just one type of bird to focus on vs many. #5: Studying certain parts. #6: The simplifying and sketching from imagination begins. #7: Trying to understand wings. I looked up some cartoon wings to see how other artists depict them. Learn from others if you’re stuck!

This is just the beginning for me.

Sketching in Krita

  • Post published:May 24, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

Krita comes with a lot of brushes that can give you that pencil effect. Though, this isn’t a pencil brush but you can still get the drawing look with it. This piece was done entirely with the Bristles-1 Details brush.

Eraser Mode

  • Post published:May 19, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

I use the Eraser mode a lot in my experiments. Instead of drawing with pure white, I draw with “Erase” mode activated, and it can give some interesting result/look. And if you’re like me, someone who uses the Erase mode a lot, you will soon find out that it can be a hassle to toggle it on and off (unnecessarily). This is because you don’t know whether you’re currently in Erase mode or not. Yes, you can look at the toolbar to find out, but the problem with that is that artists tend to look at the Canvas more than anything else when drawing. Furthermore, if you’re in fullscreen mode, there’s no way to tell.

My suggestion for the developers: When in Eraser mode, change cursor to red or make it to have different Outline Shape / Cursor.

Testing out Krita 4.2 Beta

  • Post published:May 17, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

I don’t know what they did to the Flow/Opacity thing, but I kind of like the Flow effect. Same brush, different opacity/flow setting.

“Ten Brushes” plugin/script that comes with Krita.

I can now quickly access my most commonly used brushes. A quick note on the Eraser brush: You might be wondering why even bother when eraser mode is activated via the “E” key. Well, Some brushes takes a very long time to perfectly erase because of its brush’s tip/setting. You would have to go over many times, and it can be frustrating if the size of the brush is below 5px. With the actual Eraser brush, one stroke and it’s gone.

You can now quickly change these.

Quick Blend Brush

  • Post published:May 5, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

This is the kind of result you can get with a blend brush. Just some scribbling and blend away.

Testing out Krita Nightly Build

  • Post published:May 2, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

This was just a quick test dabbling color. Not sure what the developer did but this is working great on my mac so far! Just in time for me to start exploring light and color for art.

I now can resize the floating window/dialog, which I couldn’t in previous version. I can also pick color from the color dialog and start painting right away without having to hit the tablet with my pen and then lift it and then hit it again. I can also be away doing something else in another window, then come back and can easily move the canvas without having to tab out and back in to make it work!

https://binary-factory.kde.org/job/Krita_Nightly_MacOS_Build/

Painting in ArtRage

  • Post published:April 26, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

I got ArtRage a few years back, but didn’t really sit down to experiment with it until today. As of this writing, I don’t know that much about lightning and color. So this was just me scribbling with paint and making things up as I go. I find it much easier to get the painterly effect with ArtRage. I will probably do some artworks with it later on. In the meantime, I need to start reading on lightning and color. Not sure when I’ll get to it.

Copying Poses with Oval Shapes

  • Post published:April 20, 2019
  • Post category:Blog Post

This is an exercise that you can try out. Find pose photos and start copying the pose (eyeball it). Then draw on top of the oval shapes.

REF: https://www.deviantart.com/senshistock/art/Bridge-Troll-Pose-Reference-for-Art-and-Drawing-785120386

I consider myself a perfectionist, and sometimes that can be a bad thing in art when using photo references. This is how I train myself to let go, and be loose. The goal isn’t to copy the photo exactly, even when it’s just a pose that I’m after.