One of the most important concepts to know and understand as a visual artist is that pictures, scenes and still images are arrangements of value; light, dark and gray shapes. It’s these light, dark and gray shapes that the human mind assembles as a cohesive picture.
Being able to see the world as shapes of value, especially colored shapes and objects, is a master skill to cultivate as a visual artist. It’s important to the artist because in order to compose and arrange shapes in our pictures, we must first see and understand their inherent grayscale value.
The most basic and abstract pattern of dark and light shapes (A) is the first ‘read’ the mind makes. This happens on a visceral, almost subconscious level. As more information is processed, like details and color, the mind can then assemble a more refined and sophisticated image (D).
How do we train our eyes to see the world in value? There are some very simple strategies we can use when we observe the world around us. The first step is to learn how to deal with color information.
To see these strategies in action, watch the video below or continue reading for the in-depth breakdown.
This digital painting and demo video was recorded live during a long pose workshop @ Concept Design Academy. Approx. 2 1/2 hours from the model. Scroll down to watch the digital painting tutorial videos (playlist).
“Rajiv From Life, 2/13/13″. The final image. Drawn and rendered in Photoshop.
Tonight on the Freshdesigner podcast I’ll be interviewing a killer comics artist and good friend, Keu Cha. Keu was a former Witchblade artist but has gotten a lot of buzz with his new creator owned project, Hex the Lost Tribe. Look for the stream in the video player underneath this post. 6:30pm (PST, USA) tonight! Get some popcorn ready and sharpen your pencils boys and girls, it’s going to be a hot show.
See you there , and after you watch, leave a comment below and tell me what you learned from the interview.
*Note: my audio on the recording is bad. Keu’s audio is fine. Please excuse the mess.
Follow Keu and get the latest updates on Hex the Lost Tribe:
This critique is a segment from the live Webinar recorded on October 16th, 2012. The purpose of the critique was to improve the drawing, design and composition of the character illustration. Topics covered include: gesture, structure, design, shape language, lighting, shading and rendering. To view the entire Webinar episode or to participate in upcoming webinars and live critiques, visit the webinar page.
Charles Hu is a veteran artist and renowned teacher of figure drawing and anatomy. Gnomon Workshop has recently released 2 volumes of featuring anatomy lecture by Charles Hu. I’ve gotten to know Charles recently and he is a dynamic teacher who is incredibly knowledgeable about human anatomy. This dvd set is a must for students or any artist looking to improve their figure drawing. Links to Gnomon website below:
Carlo Arellano is a world class Concept Artist and teacher who is known as a Character Design expert. I’ve had the fortune to study with Carlo @ Concept Design Academy and I was blown away by his knowledge and abilities. CGMW was kind enough to share a Q&A session where Carlo shared a lot of great insights about Character Design and his philosophy.
In this final episode of the Concept Art tutorial series we add the finishing touches to our creature concept. We will paint the last bit of polish and detail and also create a simple background and make our concept presentable. We take the concept to the final stage so it can be handed off to production or as a marketing illustration. Narrated by the artist.
In part 5 of the Concept Art Tutorial series, we add texture. Using a combination of photographs, photo manipulation, and Photoshop blending modes we seamlessly add texture to our creature design. This technique will quickly add a nice layer of texture, detail and color variation. Narrated by the artist.