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Art L'Arte De Sandy


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[FONT="Palatino Linotype"]I'm glad to say that I've found the joy of drawing again, after several of years of casual sketching. I intend to use this thread to portray my lil' pieces of art in the future, as well.

Today I suddenly got inspired by the videogame series Soul Calibur to create a fighter of my own. I came up with a dancer guy whirling two chakrams on his feet. When the actual drawing was done, I decided to finally learn how to color it with the Photoshop-program.

The lineart can be seen attached below, but the final work has been posted to my deviantART page, [URL="http://sandyledandy.deviantart.com/art/Battledancer-65145753"][color=darkorange]located here[/color][/URL].

So that's my first coloring with the program (I learned the tricks by googling "coloring with Photoshop"), and I hope to become better and better with time. Hmm, wonder where my next inspiration will spur out from...?
Well, I decided to have a little more fun with my newly gained coloring skills, and colored an older piece from me (which some of you may have seen over at theOtaku). You can see it in full glory [url=http://sandyledandy.deviantart.com/art/Modern-Lamia-65229691][COLOR=darkorange]here[/COLOR][/url].

It's a modern lamia! The original lineart is again attached below.
Third time's the charm, as it seems I'm having some sort of a streak of creativity.

I decided to have another take on the battledancer of the first picture. Perhaps [url=http://sandyledandy.deviantart.com/art/Battledancer-2P-65297724][COLOR="DarkOrange"]this[/COLOR][/url] could be his secondary outfit, if he was a fighting game character?

I went a little over the top with the colors and the details, but it was a good test of what I can do with Photoshop. (Also, I know the leafs look cheesy, but they're there just for the background.)

[B]Any more tips you could give me to further improve my coloring?[/B]
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Oooh I like the way you drew the chakrams on both of your drawings of the battledancer. The way you foreshortened the chakrams from the front to the back gives the drawing a nice sense of depth. Really cool. One thing I might do is probably use a darker tone of green on the grasses in the front and then use a lighter tone of green as it goes back to the background just to prevent the overall drawing from looking flat. I don't know if that would actually work, but I think it should.

And I definitely like your second drawing of the battledancer more than I did the first one. To me, there’s a lot more movement and mass in the way you drew the clothing compared to the first drawing. Also, the pose he’s in is more exciting and it looks more natural. I also like the way you tried to make the leaves dance with the character, or at least that’s the way it looks to me.

I can’t really say much about your coloring in any of the drawings since I know nothing about coloring in Photoshop, but it looks good to me and I like how colorful the drawings are.
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[FONT="Palatino Linotype"]Thanks for the feedback, Treble. As you probably noticed, I'm having trouble getting the shadows in their right places in the right size. This is evident on the piece I did yesterday:

[URL="http://sandyledandy.deviantart.com/art/Battledancer-VS-Battledancer-65676260"][COLOR="DarkOrange"]Battledancer VS Battledancer[/COLOR][/URL]

So I did a close-up on both versions of the battledancer facing each other to seem like they're a character in the fighting game SoulCalibur IV (I even snitched the logo).

But they/he has a name and a background story now as well! He's Mischa, a Prussian circus performer whose troupe was slaughtered by none else than [URL="http://www.soularchive.jp/SC4/character/tira/"][COLOR="Green"]Tira[/COLOR][/URL], the crazy girl with a ringblade.

This piece required a lot of work, but it allowed me to try out several features of Photoshop that I hadn't used before (text input, text manipulation, pasting pictures, resizing them without stretching the pixels on them, layers upon layers upon layers, etc.). The only thing I'm not happy with the picture is the skin with it's shading. :/

Any tips for making a more realistic skin, anyone?[/FONT]
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  • 2 months later...
[font=georgia]Alright, I'm about to go on a rant, so brace yourself. I hope it doesn't come off as rude--but if it does, I'm not trying to be. I promise. :animesmil

You have really solid drawing and lineart-cleaning skills--but, as one of my teacher's would put it, you're "dark challenged." Most people are one way or the other: they make shadows either too dark or too light. I think that the major problem with your coloring is that a) you're making the shadows smaller than they should be b) you're concentrating too hard on graduating the shadows too early in the coloring process, and c) you're not bringing the values dark enough.

This is extremely common--I tend to do the same exact thing if I don't check myself. I think one of the reasons it's happening in your case is because you're coloring against a white background, which makes you, the colorer, ultra-sensitive to the differences in skin tone--which isn't necessarily a good thing, in this case; it makes the shadows seem darker to you than they actually are. So once you add the background, the skin appears really washed-out.

To remedy this, I'd suggest making a temporary background layer while you color the skin--make it a dark blue or something. Either that or do the background first (I hardly ever do full-fledged backgrounds because I'm lazy :p). Not only that, but begin your shading with an even darker shadow (this -will- produce a more stylized look if you don't blend it afterward), and pay close attention to the way light should be interacting with your characters' features. For instance: I noticed in the lamia picture that the light source comes from below, but her nose doesn't cast a shadow upwards.

I know it seems awkward to do certain shadows, especially with light from below; when you do it the way it should logically work, characters can appear to have mustaches due to the placement of shadows. But, in most cases, it only looks weird to you, the artist, and a third party will look at it and their eyes will register a shadow, not a mustache. I'd suggest (and this is what I personally do) practicing on very ugly or grotesque characters with prominent facial features, so that it's easier to shade them in ways that feel uncomfortable. It also helps to think of features as simple three-dimensional objects, so you have a better idea on how they should react to light.

As far as composition goes, that comes mostly with experience. No one can really tell you what makes a composition good--it's something you get a feel for the more you draw.

But I'd like to emphasize again that your drawing skills are really excellent--especially your attention to detail.

Sorry for the length. I get kind of rabid when I talk about this stuff. All of it's conjecture anyway--I made a lot of assumptions about your method, so take what I said with a grain of salt.[/font] :animesmil
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[FONT="Palatino Linotype"]Thank you, Bio! Your tips and hints are worth their weight of gold. ;D

Here's a couple of newer pieces:

[url=http://sandyledandy.deviantart.com/art/Different-Soulcalibur-67323071][COLOR="DarkOrange"]Aboriginal warrior woman[/COLOR][/url]

She is a continuation to the battle-dancers, as I tried to imagine some type of character that isn't featured in any fighting game. The result was a slighty overweight aboriginal woman wielding a boomerang. Original enough?

[url=http://sandyledandy.deviantart.com/art/Harry-Potter-Xmas-Special-70876338][COLOR="DarkOrange"]Harry Potter Christmas Special[/COLOR][/url]

This one I did for my boyfriend's website's Christmas Calendar per his request. It features the most prominent Harry Potter characters in a collage of sorts. I tried to get a more comic-y look into it, steering away from the manga/anime style (which still shows in the picture, though). I didn't use much shadowing at all, either, just a few highlights.

What's most noteworthy is that I didn't ink the picture at all, but colored it directly on the pencil lines, which resulted in a not-so-clean, but a more artsy look.

[url=http://sandyledandy.deviantart.com/art/The-Ragnarok-72071610][COLOR="DarkOrange"]The Ragnarok[/COLOR][/url]

My latest piece, it features the gods from my OB RPG, The Ragnarok, which just reached it's conclusion. This was also a reward for Rachmaninoff, who won it.

I was aiming to make the characters look a bit like statues, hence the weird eyes and poses and the strong shadows. This wasn't inked either.

So there![/FONT]
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[font=Georgia]I like the feel and design of "The Ragnarok." It reminds me of a medieval fresco or mosaic--and again, attention to detail and the consistent quality of each character is impressive.

Keep in mind--I gave my earlier advice based on my own experience with digital art, but I do mostly traditional art. So if you're seeking advice I'd suggest looking at some coloring tutorials instead of listening to my blather. DeviantArt usually has good ones.[/font]
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