Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby Grieffon » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:19 pm

Yikes, the last time I posted anything was exactly 4 months ago. School, blank canvas syndrome, and suck-ness-phobia are nasty.

I'm trying to get back, so I don't have anything fancy yet. Have this as a sign that I'm alive for now.

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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby Cerulean » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:36 pm

Ahaha I know that feel (The suck-ness-phobia and blank canvas syndrome). Personally, though, I really enjoy your artwork and don't think that you suck at all c:
And it doesn't seem as if you've lost your touch in the time that you've been gone, these four paintings are beautiful! Glad to have you back in the Art Section again :D
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby Grieffon » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:45 pm

Thanks Cerulean

I'm testing out a new workflow, which double as a study on lighting. Seems to work better than how I did it before.

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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby ari-6 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:00 pm

You are good at this. I could never manage digital painting. Probably because I always put drawing first. But painting of any kind is always visually impressive for the wow factor. I think probably because it is really easy to convey the skill that goes into the work. How long have you been arting for?
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby Grieffon » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:00 pm

Well, I can't manage drawing because I put painting first, so there's that. It would be nice if I can make some good shaded pencil drawings, but for now, even being able to sketch decently would be terrific. Since you focus on drawing, I want to ask something. Any tips on sketching (not finished drawing, just rough sketching), and would it be better to use a pen rather than a pencil? There's already plenty of resources on sketching humans, so I don't really need that for now. What I really want is to be able to quickly sketch environment, from nature to city to scifi stuff.

What problems do you have with digital painting? Maybe I can give some pointers.

As for how long I have been doing art, I do it on-and-off so much I don't even know. But for an estimate, adding all the time I actually do it together, I don't imagine it can be more than 3 months of working consistently. Don't be fooled. If you were me, you would know how bad I am at seeing colors and values, which is among the most important thing in painting.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby ari-6 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:48 pm

Tips on sketching backgrounds? Well backgrounds aren't really what I'm best at but I could try. I can't advise sketching in pen, however it was the fierst thing they told us to do in Uni. Something like "Drawing something, deciding it's not right and then erasing it doesn't teach you anything. If you draw something with pun then start to learn more quickly because mistakes can not be erased" And I can't argue with the results http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2013/ ... 6rse6s.jpg I guess what I mean is I don't like doing it because all my drawing skills mainly come from OCD which can't be taught but if you are looking for a harsh exorcise that produces results then yeah, find photos of cities and nature and sketch them using pen.

As for problems with digital painting, I have a friend who also specialises digital painting and he asks me the same thing. I guess the problem is I never have enough time to practice with it to the point where it is a viable skill, which is also why I am not very good with water colours and markers. Everything I did was for something. A deadline that I ha to meet and so I can't afford to use a skill I haven't got the hang of, it's all about results after all. And I started hating it so much that I stopped doing it in my spare time so then everything I did was for a project. I would also say a problem I have with i is visualising what it is supposed to look like without lines. And I never really thought that the super realism style was for me so I don't really know what style of colouring would work best for me. So in the end I always end up going for the solid cell shaded look, even though i isn't always effective.

I have been doing art for a very long time and I can't help the feeling that I should be better by now. I constantly feel like I am not as good as I should be. I don't know if it is just psychological and I don't know how to get over it. Every time I think I am getting out of this rut I am hit with another failure and end up feeling worse than I did before. My tutors tell me that it is natural for artists to never be satisfied with their work and when they are they become stagnant but to me that says "I will never be satisfied with my work so I will never be happy". What are your thought on that?
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby Grieffon » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:58 pm

Dayum, what were you talking about with wow factor in painting. Being able to do that with something that can't be erased or painted over is much more impressive. And all those details...

For visualizing without lines, I just toss color in, redefine the edge, then add details. Here's what it looks like before I use a hard brush:

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Many people prefer to paint over lineart or sketch, especially with more detailed paintings, so you don't necessarily have to work without lines.

Unfortunately, every artists I know said the same thing, you will never be completely pleased with your work. Just have to learn to be happy with what you have while striving for the better, I guess. It's the same for everything, really. You should chase perfection to improve, but at the same time be aware that you will never reach it. You can talk to professional artists to see how they cope with it. I just do it as a hobby, so it's easier for me to accept it.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby ari-6 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:08 pm

I do wish I was just doing this as a hobby but then I would have to think about how to get a real job and that would kill me way faster than this.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby Grieffon » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:03 pm

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Pen and paper certainly is faster than actually painting it for studying purpose. I still don't know how to "suggest" surface texture though, especially with inorganic ones like a brickwall. How do I give the illusion of details for something like bricks without actually drawing all the bricks?
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby ari-6 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:33 pm

Good job. Your perspective is off on the building however. I have a useful exercise book on mastering things like applying texture but I would advise against using biro. About wall textures, try making the bricks a little smaller so that you only need to suggest the pattern and you can get away with fudging it details when they are smaller. Don't draw one thing and then draw it again straight away, It get's tedious quickly. Instead draw something completely different and after ten or so drawing, go back to one of them and do it again to see improvement.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby Grieffon » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:07 pm

Creating the composition of the past great painters with just 4 values is damn hard.

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... Don't really feel like I have learned much. Maybe color study will be better?
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff

Postby Grieffon » Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:01 pm

I've managed to get rid of a few bad habits that held me back. Now it feels like I've been enlightened.

And I also managed to pick up a few tricks along the way.

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This took 3-4 times longer than it should (more than 15 hours), but that's expected, considering my messy workflow and clumsy use of color and light. Still, I'm happy with the result.
Last edited by Grieffon on Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Jesturr » Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:22 pm

Where have you been, Grieffon? It's been a while xD
Anyways that looks really great :0 I like the colors and all the background rendering and stuff
But I think most of all, the little dandelions in the corner are the coolest second-glance details I've ever seen

The trees in the back look slightly skewed, maybe a perspective problem? I dunno :'D
brb while I stare at those dandelions some more...
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby ari-6 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:48 pm

Wow, what? Uh..... How long has it been since you last submitted something? This is such a HUGE improvement from before. I would say that the water could use some practice but considering water is always one of the hardest things to paint and the over all image that really blows me away, that is a really tiny thing.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Grieffon » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:21 pm

Thanks you two. I updated the image a bit, added some light rays, adjusted the color, and fix some minor stuff.

I haven't been going anywhere, just trying to overcome a few habits that prevented me from making a longer, complete work. Which trees do you think are off-perspective? There are a lot of tres in the back. Do you mean the 5 trees in the middle ground, or those in the background? And those dandelions are just random dots.

What do you suggest I do about the water, Ari?

If anyone see anything being off, please feel free to rip the image apart to expose all the terribleness. Especially you two, Ari and Jesturr.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Jesturr » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:58 pm

Okay, I'll try my hand at critiquing. Be prepared for a wall of text!


Keep in mind, I'm a self taught artist, so make of my integrity what you will. I'm only criticizing personal choices, this isn't a "how you should do it", more of a what I think about when I draw large pieces.
Okay! First off, the detailing and rendering is really good. I didn't get that much of a chance to notice first time through, but piecing it apart let me see just how much time went into the background, especially. Good job on that.

What I meant when I said the trees looked crooked was that the horizon and the arc of the river made the ground look curved, and the curvey trees looked tangential to this, making the ground look like caving in on itself.
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Another thing I'm seeing is a weird composition thing where you have 3 very strong horizontal(ish) lines, the horizon and two river lines, and a very long canvas. This would usually read a calm, relaxed piece. But you offset this by adding very strong vertical lines in the background that don't override the horizontal lines.
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In addition, you have the trees in the midground and the fallen log contributing diagonals, making this piece read as both calm, daunting, and violent at the same time.
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The composition kind of really false apart in greyscale. Your values give these random shapes that kind of lead the eye no where. The light rays are very good, they are a kind of catch-all attention that bring my eye to the character. From there, the character looks at the flower, leading us to look at the flower. Having a character looking at something is a very strong cue and you pulled that off really, really well. But where this falls apart are afterwards. The tree in the corner is slanted, leading the eye up and escaping the canvas.
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You want to trap the viewer's attention on your image, and your composition has too many "escape points", ie too many zones of low contrast that the eye wanders off the image. Your zones of low value, high contrast (the trees) seem to be scattered and random. I would give direction to all these if I were to redo it, so it would contribute to the composition.

Redraw
Redrawing, I would start with a simple, low horizon point and lots of vertical lines.
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Notice how I fade it out in the back, and how little detail I give this. I don't want the viewer to focus on it, I want it to be in the back of their mind dictating their mood. The low horizon point means they're looking up, and the vertical lines make the image feel daunting and strong. Next, I decide on a composition. I want a light ray to open up and focus the viewer on the flower. I put the flower on an image third, and place the light ray from the top corner centered on it.
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This light ray will be higher in value than the rest of the composition. This will focus the viewer on the flower, my focal point.
Next, I place the pony so her (?) head is in the light. I want the viewer to see her head, and where she's looking. I add the log in a way that it contributes mainly a horizontal line, so it doesn't screw the composition up from a single vanishing point.
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In the foreground, I add a rounded tree stump, to give a wedge shape that will trap the viewer's eye in the cone of light. I also add a path in the dirt, because I like those (lol). The eye likes to follow paths, so if the viewer is to leave the image, make them leave on your terms. I bring down the values outside the cone, highlight the areas that are in light, and highlight the path.
Image

This is my finished composition. Don't misread this, your image was very, very good, and I would be super proud if I drew it, these are just some things that I like to look out for. I hope this helped!
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Grieffon » Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:43 am

Is it weird that I was smiling when I read this? It's exciting to know what can be done that I couldn't.

I'll be honest, there were only a few things on composition I could come up with while I was making the image. I have the light rays direct the viewer's eyes to the pony, and have her gaze direct the eyes to the flower. The river banks, the fallen log, and the foreground tree forms a frame to keep the viewer's eyes there. I was aware that the tree leads the eyes straight out of the image, but didn't know what to do about it. Having it be a tree stump instead is brilliant, and you even added some leaves pointing back to the character. I place the character and the flower based on the rule of third, and give them unique, saturated color to make them stand out. I didn't come up with anything for the rest, so I just let the trees, the rocks, the ground, and the river be random shapes, like how nature often is. I didn't realize that the supposedly uneven ground formed the same curve with the river, and the trees were following that curve. Yikes, I didn't even notice how much contrast those trees have comparing to the actual focus, which are the character and the flower. That's what I get for focusing on details too much and just make sure there's enough contrast for everything to read well enough, without realizing the value composition being wrong. Those dandelions was a huge mistake too, that corner has no business being attractive, and it is due to the contrast with the dandelions.

Can you explain this a bit more?
But you offset this by adding very strong vertical lines in the background that don't override the horizontal lines.

I'm not sure what you meant by "not override the horizontal lines". Also, if I wanted a calm mood, how do I achieve that in a place full of things pointing up?

Also, this
In addition, you have the trees in the midground and the fallen log contributing diagonals, making this piece read as both calm, daunting, and violent at the same time.
was funny. Maybe I can use it for something later.

Someone told me that since I can have unlimited depth of field, I should keep the details on the further river bank. Based on what you said, would you suggest toning down the details on the 5 midground trees and the background bushes and leaves?

Lastly, if I want the pony to be on top of the attention hierarchy instead of the flower, or at least equal, what should I do, keeping most of your composition?

Thank you so much for doing this, especially the example. It really helps to know the viewpoint of more experienced artists.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby ari-6 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:46 am

..................pfft. Wellllll...... I don't know about anyone else but I feel like I just went back to school. Kind of makes me want to stop talking after that whole lesson plan and all I had to say was "Uhh...... Water, make better....... plllph". It just seemed to me that on such a bright sunny day, the water would hold a much stronger reflection, like this maybe


Image
but to be honest...... I suck at drawing water! I can't even remember if I've ever tried! I'm such a failure!! Don't look at my shame!!!!.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Jesturr » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:55 pm

Ah, what I meant was that you had lots of vertical lines and very strong horizontal lines at the same time - if I'm going to add lots of verticals, I like to make them stronger than the horizontals.

Hmm, if you want to focus on the character, I don't know if you even want a flower in the picture :x I wouldn't know how it would work, haha. As for making a lot of horizontals in a place with lots of vertical trees, maybe you could have a high horizon, so not a lot of trees show (but you could suggest it through shadows) or make a lot of horizontal tree branches in front of the vertical trees? I dunno, lol.

I'm glad you found the critique helpful ;; I'm very wary about criticizing the work of others, often times I don't find it well received.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Grieffon » Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:40 am

I'll leave this here while I figure how to paint fire and smoke properly.

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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Jesturr » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:14 am

Eghegghh those flame effects look cool ; ^;
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Blood Lord » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:25 am

Grieffon wrote:I'll leave this here while I figure how to paint fire and smoke properly.

Yeah, send me your secrets once you're done. Still trying to figure metal out.

And ponies. and people. and senery. and apparently how to hold the pencil.
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Bad Dragon » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:33 am

The mane and tail looks gorgeous! :3
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby Grieffon » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:37 pm

Embrace the flame

Image

This is my attempt to do fire and smoke. It's also an experiment with really desaturated color, doesn't seem to be working that well though. Maybe it's not suitable here. I also tried to make the side view work, which is another bad idea. This is mostly just for experiment and not a complete work, so I don't really mind though.

If anyone doesn't like ponies, sorry about that, but I need a character for my art, and learning human anatomy will take quiiittteee a while.

I have a few question, Jesturr, if you don't mind.
1. How would you compose this, keeping the side view?
2. How would you compose this, not necessarily keeping the side view?
3. How do I achieve a look of deep in thought or concentration, using facial expression alone?
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Re: Grieffon's scenery n' stuff (Back and better than ever)

Postby ari-6 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:08 pm

Facial expressions are pretty tricky, especially when applying them to something that isn't human

Once you have it figured out this style would look really cool as the mane for either Celestia or Luna.
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