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Rock of The Westies
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Chris . . .yes and YES! I love that you nixed the forbidden eraser myth in your presentations! And you quoting what the teachers said was spot on.

The same teacher taught us that there are no hard lines in reality and forbade us to use them in our art. Lucky for me . . . I guess . . . my parents moved and I found myself in a school in Sacramento with a WONDERFUL art teacher. He came up to me as I worked on one of my pieces and asked if I'd mind if he did something. How could I say no to the man who was going to grade me? I handed him my pencil and he drew a BOLD hard line on the clasp of the overalls my toddler was wearing. At first I gasped . . . he did the forbidden no-no. Then I looked . . . . what a difference, for the good! It was then I learned sometimes things taught are better buried. Later I did somewhat of a pointillist work but used small lines to dispel another myth.

Sometimes I remind myself of the masters who broke the mold of their predecessors and created their own.
#31 - November 29, 2012, 06:53 AM
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 07:00 AM by Cynthia Kremsner »
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People
 www.cynthiakremsner.com

OddBerryCreations

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Thanks for all the advice. I'm trying to take some of it quite literally. There are 2 artists that I adore and I'm trying to use their style to help me figure out my own. the problem is I just can't seem to get some of the 'parts' right. I'm redoing eyes, noses, mouths, etc. but they just aren't coming out right. I can't wait for my book to get here and then I'm going to get some other books that will help figure out how to get these features better. One of my instructors once said to take something I have problems with and draw it for like an hour a day, every day. What do you do to get better at something you have issues with?  :grin3
#32 - November 30, 2012, 03:15 AM

Rock of The Westies
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I think we all have struggles we face at one time or another with our work. Your instructors advice is good. Keep working on it until you can look at it and say . . . yes, this is something I would buy! Anything that bothers you in the least with your work will stand out to an art director. I've seen people who struggle with hands/feet/paws put their characters in poses or behind things to avoid their challenges . . . and it only emphasizes the issue. If you tackle it until you've mastered it to the point that you feel others may want to buy it . . . Voila!

An excercise I did while in High School was to take clippings of models from old magazines and newspapers and do line work over them with a marker to make a caracature. This really showed me how moving lines a fraction can change expression and character immensely. It also gave me a feel for proportions and symetry when I went to draw original work.
#33 - November 30, 2012, 11:24 AM
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People
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Corey

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Hey guys,
My first post in here!
I feel like I'm in the same boat. I've been kicking illustration for years. Putting it away and coming back to it.. always intending to make a serious go at it.

I think I'm finally ready but I feel like I need to get back to the basics to really establish a foundation before I jump in with confidence. I feel that I really need to define my style in more concrete terms. Others have an easier time "seeing" my style than I do. People say that something I do is undeniably "me".. but I dont see it as clearly.

Another problem. I often feel that my style shines the brightest when I'm illustrating something familiar. Faces, hands figures for instance. But how do I draw a car in my style? Or a School Building? Ahhh.. now THERE is the sticking point isnt it?

So .. I thought about it.. and have come up with a plan.. and maybe it will work for you to.
In the past I have done this and its worked wonders:

You have an illustration that requires you to show a car.. and your confidence is lacking... and you dont really know how it should "look" in your style.
First.. get a picture of a car and draw it as realistically as possible.
Now put away the photo.
Draw the car again out of your head.
Draw it one more time but try to simplify the lines a little. Add some character.
Now .. draw different cars.. from different angles.
If you find yourself unconfident.. get a reference from the angle you need.. and the type of car you need and draw it realistically first. Then repeat the other steps.

BTW.. I will probably be doing this for the next couple of weeks to help me establish my style and my confidence with unfamiliar subjects.

Hope this helps! Good luck! Your not alone! ;)
#34 - November 30, 2012, 12:07 PM

Double W Illustrations
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I would say before buying anything go to your local library and troll the section that has "How to Draw" books. Check them out and peruse them all. Find the ones that work best for you. Books are like teachers but they can't change their teaching method to work with each individual student. So you need to find the book that speaks to you and makes sense to you. A book that opens my mind up may shut yours down. So definitely use your local library or bookstore to seek out the best "teacher" for you. If the books we suggest aren't there then check their database to see if any of the other libraries in your county have it and get it sent to the library closest to you so that you can pick it up and check it out.

Do a search online and see if there are any figure drawing opportunities locally. Go to those and participate ask the others lots and lots of questions. Find an online or in person critique group and start showing your work and getting input from your peers. (You could even do that here!!!)  :)  Even consider taking some community college or community center classes in drawing, watercolor, figure, whatever you can find.  Whatever seems exciting to you!  ;)
#35 - November 30, 2012, 10:55 PM

OddBerryCreations

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Thanks Corey and welcome. There are so many good bits of advice here and it's both exciting and intimidating starting something new. I don't know how to get started, I don't know what to do to begin and even though most people say just start...it sometimes just isn't that easy...at least not for me. I like the thought of trying to draw it from reference and then doing it without a reference but that might be something I try later on.

I have taken classes and am currently in school as a matter of fact. Graduation comes in June '13. I don't see me getting a job in illustration right off from graduation simply because I know the industry is tough and I know my skills need to be improved. I also appreciate the honesty as far as books and what works for you might not work for me. I'm hoping to have as many options as possible so that I find something that works for me.

Where can I post my work for critique?? I'm still new and learning the site. I SO badly want to improve I just don't know how to do it.
#36 - December 02, 2012, 08:04 PM

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Where can I post my work for critique?? I'm still new and learning the site. I SO badly want to improve I just don't know how to do it.

It doesn't appear that illustrators have a separate section for critiquing their art like the writers do for critiquing manuscripts (Queries & Critique Requests -- Here's the place for Registered Members to critique query and cover letters and to request critiques of manuscripts. NOTE: Do not post full manuscripts here. Post manuscript critique requests here and do the actual critiquing via private emails.)

I would suppose that creating a thread in the Illustrating section, maybe with the subject titled like this, for example: "Art Critique Request: Picture Book -- Character Design", would be a start. Just preface the art you're posting with a description of the illustration project (for example, you're doing an interpretation of a classic children's story with your own illustrations and want to start with designing the characters first), and then what kind of critique you'd be most interested in receiving from participants of your thread. 

- t
#37 - December 02, 2012, 08:53 PM

Double W Illustrations
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Luckily for us class never stops! LOL!! I find it helpful to still go to figure drawing regularly. It's a good way to find and meet peers as well as flex those observation and study muscles. But again, what works for me may not work for you. I would definitely write down everything that's suggested and try it on to see if it fits or sounds like something that suits you. You'll get there!!

Do you sketch often? In a sketch book or anything? If so you have already started. For me style is born out of repetition. The more you draw the more you study your influences the more you'll start to see your style emerge in your sketches and drawings. I can almost guarantee you that others will see it before you will. It's funny how that seems to work sometimes.

I think you can post art for critique right in this forum (Illustrating). If the mods say it should be somewhere else then they'll move it and we'll all know better where to post stuff for the next time. I'd be anxious to see what you post!! ;)
#38 - December 02, 2012, 08:53 PM
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 08:55 PM by WilsonWilliamsJr »

Jacqueline Buffinet

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I'm probably too early in this endeavor to have defined MY style either. But one thing I do often is have "fill the well" sessions. Sometimes it's with book art but most often it's the internet. I can surf hundreds of illustrations, or works of art, in a short time over the internet. I may barely do more than glance at a piece before I move on to the next. But the next one might interest me in line, form, color or just overall beauty. Those I stop on, mull over, study and question what makes it work and why I like it. Then I move on. After sessions like this, a fantastic thing happens. When I lay down at night or even sometimes when I least expect it in the day, I start seeing images in my mind. MY images. Sometimes they come so fast that I lose many of them. When I sit down to draw them I already know how I want it to fill the canvas, how I want the lines or the colors to be. Sometimes I pull it off in an incredibly short amount of time and other times I struggle because my skill does not match the inward vision. But the important thing is that I DO have an inward vision. I figure that's my style, even if I don't know how to define it. 

It's how I am getting better at getting my proportions right too, OddBerry, I study, study, study, what I see that is working for others with eyes, noses, ears, ect. I make mental notes to take back to the drawing table with me.
#39 - December 02, 2012, 09:02 PM

Double W Illustrations
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I'm probably too early in this endeavor to have defined MY style either. But one thing I do often is have "fill the well" sessions. Sometimes it's with book art but most often it's the internet. I can surf hundreds of illustrations, or works of art, in a short time over the internet. I may barely do more than glance at a piece before I move on to the next. But the next one might interest me in line, form, color or just overall beauty. Those I stop on, mull over, study and question what makes it work and why I like it. Then I move on. After sessions like this, a fantastic thing happens. When I lay down at night or even sometimes when I least expect it in the day, I start seeing images in my mind. MY images. Sometimes they come so fast that I lose many of them. When I sit down to draw them I already know how I want it to fill the canvas, how I want the lines or the colors to be. Sometimes I pull it off in an incredibly short amount of time and other times I struggle because my skill does not match the inward vision. But the important thing is that I DO have an inward vision. I figure that's my style, even if I don't know how to define it. 

It's how I am getting better at getting my proportions right too, OddBerry, I study, study, study, what I see that is working for others with eyes, noses, ears, ect. I make mental notes to take back to the drawing table with me.


Jaqueline, this is what I hear a lot of artists are using their Pinterest accounts for. To categorize and catalogue their visual references and inspiration. Then when they have the need to peruse or study it's all their in one spot.

#40 - December 02, 2012, 09:29 PM

Jacqueline Buffinet

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Thank you, Wilson. I actually need something like that as my computer picture files are overflowing and my offsite backup keeps asking me to buy more memory space!  So yes, I will end up on Pinterest but it will have to be after I get done with the huge task of reformatting the kindle edition of my Children's PB so that it will fill the screen. I've been trying to find out how that is done for weeks now. Its like its one of the best kept secrets on the internet! But I think I am finally onto it. I can't wait to get past all of the html file building, head banging the desk kind of work and get back to my illustrative art, and writing too!
#41 - December 03, 2012, 10:05 AM

Double W Illustrations
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Thank you, Wilson. I actually need something like that as my computer picture files are overflowing and my offsite backup keeps asking me to buy more memory space!  So yes, I will end up on Pinterest but it will have to be after I get done with the huge task of reformatting the kindle edition of my Children's PB so that it will fill the screen. I've been trying to find out how that is done for weeks now. Its like its one of the best kept secrets on the internet! But I think I am finally onto it. I can't wait to get past all of the html file building, head banging the desk kind of work and get back to my illustrative art, and writing too!

No problem Jacqueline! I need to do it myself!

If you don't mind when you figure out how to reformat let us know! I've gotten some e-mails from folks who are struggling with that too! Thanks so much!
#42 - December 03, 2012, 11:58 PM

Jacqueline Buffinet

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I found a book with templates and have one in Dreamweaver right now. If it works I'll definitely share the details. It does look promising.
#43 - December 04, 2012, 11:11 AM

OddBerry,

This is a great website that I've used thanks to evilrobot:

http://comicrazys.wordpress.com/category/famous-artists-cartoon-course/page/3/

It's all the issues of a correspondence course on illustrating.  It's very, very good and free.

I know you've already bought a bunch of books, but don't forget to check the library.  I've only spent $10 on illustration books that I wanted because our local library has had everything else that I wanted to look at.  Maybe you're not close to a resource like that or maybe you already know you want to own them.  I also like the library because the book cannot sit on my shelf and let me procrastinate.  I always have to return it in two weeks so I have to start using it right away!

--Cassie
#44 - December 04, 2012, 04:55 PM
If you don't try, you have no chance at all. - Carole King
Every day's a good day when you paint. - Bob Ross

www.tatumhartillustrations.com

OddBerryCreations

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Thanks Tatumhart but alas, I'm not able to use the resources that you have but I've only bought 2 books so far. All the other books I own, I bought when I first started school. I'm adding to my collection only specific books and that's only after extensive research. I love the blog and thanks for the share.  :thankyou
#45 - December 04, 2012, 05:44 PM

I was once the boy who wouldn't sit still!
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I have found that my most creative images come to me before i go to sleep or when i wake up. Always have a pad of paper next to you. Do not be discouraged by what others say and just keep drawing what you feel. I had a vision of an intoxicated monkey one day and i just drew my idea out. i know it might sound stupid but my point is i draw my ideas. I take photos with my phone of things i see and go home and draw them as characters or backgrounds.
#46 - January 22, 2013, 06:00 PM

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