It went so quick- everything! I died and was reborn on digital canvas over the past days. I discovered that I can live and work at my own pace. Like with all things like these – it sounds obvious but is actually hard to live by.
My next blog entry is about why the new comic script for the next chapter of SPREY broke me and why it lead to what you see below.
The week has started just fine and we are 1/4th through the 100 days of SPREY again! I can‘t believe it is only 25 counted days as so incredibly much has happened, so many developments took place, new thoughts and ideas were thought, shared and worked on. Well, and hopefully more is coming.
I set a couple of goals for the week yesterday and I am off to a strong start. One hair study became 5, 3 color studies are done, The daily panel took me roughly 2,5 hours but I had more control over the outcome by tweaking the process. Also Rich‘s hair looks a bit more like hair already. Also I guess I condensed something I would have drawn out as 3 panels into this one, testing whether this would be a good idea. So far, the readers seemed to like that there is more to discover then first meets the eye.
Also, I finished an illustration today that I wanted to have done in december already. An arttrade piece for my friend Fera Feles from Instagram with her character Viola Blackwood. This is out of my comfort zone and I guess you can really see I made the lines more than one month ago – as I would make at least the eyes different now. But tested the solid blacks on the piece today and loved them.
I want to draw so badly again, will continue tomorrow.
I took part in the free One Week Portrait Challenge hosted by Paintable this year. Thank you for the short and entertaining course. I went in with the intention to watch my process and learn from the process(es) I would be presented to improve my digital portrait drawing skills in the future. Whereas some of my friends seemed to bored because the tasks at hand did not challenge them enough (lucky them), I got a lot from returning to the basics of the basics and I’m going to share this with you!
This day was all about perception & measurement. Think about it, if nothing is to be taken for granted, not even *seeing* like an artist and understanding and translating what you saw – then often a portrait is doomed from the start, even before the pencil has hit the paper. If you, like many other artists (including myself) fail to instantly see and understand the facial planes and proportions of the individual face before you, you will not achieve likeness in your drawn result. I am not saying that you can’t do a good drawing. You might just feel this nagging unease that you don’t know what went wrong and don’t really know how to fix it to make it look more alike to whatever reference you are using.
I have included my own visual notes from that day. The reference picture I chose is an obscure low res photograph of young Jeremy Dufour. Whatever it is not, it is more than enough to study proportions and perception.
My most interesting finding was that up until then I had ignored angles. Angles are fantastic to tame out of control geometry. Do you know the situation when you have drawn a face and it has all elements of a face you remembered a face should have – you even considered perspective and anatomy – but it’s wrong. It’s not what you want and you can’t lay your finger on it. Your result feels so off from the reference (or worse, from your own imagination), but everything that should be there, is there! Not always, but often enough, checking your angles helps to bring a drawing back into the “proper” shape. The “right” facial features do not help when they are placed in the wrong position at the wrong size. Relying on geometry alone (such as planes of the face) can trick you, because geometry does not solve your placement and size problem – you can still see or remember the wrong things and then have a wonky result. But bring the angles in and suddenly your geometry doesn’t have as much wiggle room.
What a start into the week. I wasn’t in my best form today, but hope I made progress on the environments front. I went from absolutely no idea what to do to make a page of thumbnails. It took a while, but speed is not really my priority or problem right now. My priority is clearly getting me on track and have better pieces in the future by having full control on the scenery. The John Taylor 80s appreciation piece was spontaneous and I’m really happy how it went. Drawn out of passion and I really like how that feels in the process. I must be on a way that is good for me as the process of drawing is really really fun for me lately. Not without challenges, but fun.
Day 3 of the Edlin training and I must admit I’m a bit spooked about what an impact working with simple geometry has on my art. I sadly didn’t have much time to deliberately practise today, but I am putting the rediscovered basic forms into everything I draw now. At least I hope so. Also worked through moderndayjames’ Bridgeman x Hampton hybrid head construction method. I couldn’t hold my curiosity. I can’t say I have understood it fully yet, but it definitely is having an impact. Adding not only one but two of my beloved big cubes plus a trapezoid nose to the head is much to my liking.
About the artist
Styxcolor creates freelance concept art and illustrations. She blogs about storytelling and art since 2020.