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.
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.
In part 4 of the Concept Art Tutorial series we add glazes of color to our tonal underpainting. We’ll use the color theory and strategies from the last video to create depth, model form and bring our creature design to life. This video demonstrates how to use blending modes and layers to add a transparent wash, or glaze, of color while preserving the tones and values established in the previous tutorial videos. Narrated by the artist.
This is the 3rd part of the Concept Art Tutorial series. The topic is Color. How it works, and an introduction to Color Theory. We’ll also discuss some strategies we can use with color to model form, add interest and life to our concept art and digital paintings. Narrated by the artist.
A common approach to drawing the head from 3/4 or side view is to use a 2 step construction approach. The first step is to draw a ball for the cranium, followed by drawing the frontal plane and jaw. Below is an example by Andrew Loomis (Fig. 1).
This tutorial will introduce a more fluid and gestural approach to drawing the head. The focus is on the major gestures, or “thrusts” as Steve Huston refers to them, and their relationships to one another. We’re also want to keep our lay-in simple, by using geometric shapes. The first shape we will use is the “pie”.
This video is demonstrates how to construct the limbs (how the draw the limbs) during a figure quick sketch drawing. The video demonstrates basic figure construction of the arms and legs. Topics covered include gesture drawing, anatomy and landmarks. There are examples from 3 different poses. Narrated by the artist.
Now that we know how to lay-in the torso, well at least from the front view. Let’s construct the limbs to give our figure some arms and legs.
The approach from the torso study tutorial is sometimes called a “construction” approach. It’s a methodical way to observe and de-construct the figure. Besides construction, there are other considerations when laying in the figure. For example, gesture and rhythms are what animate our figure drawing and give it life.
For this tutorial, I will use a a combination of construction and rhythms. It all depends on what the pose is giving me. Some poses the structure is prominent (or can be made prominent), in some poses the gesture (and thus the rhythms) are very interesting. Bottom line, good observation leads to good judgment and good judgment leads to good marks and so on. So always observe, observe, observe. Speaking of observation…