View Full Version : A talent I'll never have

04-13-2014, 09:09 AM
When I joined AR forum people asked me what kind of Art got me really interested. This is what really interests me. Sadly I'll never life be that good:
http://adsoftheworld.com/blog/capturing_the_old_masters_with_peter_lippmann_for_ christian_louboutin

D Akey
04-13-2014, 03:10 PM
You're right. You'll never have models like those. You're just too old for them unless you have tons of money.

Cheer up though. You can still get into After Nine with fewer qualifications. Just pop in a nipple somewhere like the third eye or anywhere else, and you're in.

I don't want to diminish the level you're aiming at, but you may not realize just how common this sort of rendering art is. We had rendering classes early on and everybody could hit this level. You just have to be painstaking about reproducing what you see in the source photo. And with lots of care and attention to detail, it's there. Now, not many people pictured idealized females in that class. I think the assignment was to depict lots of different textures and we weren't supposed to use other people's photos. And nobody could afford these pricey looking models nor did we have the photo equipment as third trimester art students. But the finishes really built up the self-confidence of all the members of the class because they were all great.

And nobody showed us how to draw chrome, or grass or hair or what have you. We were able to translate it based on using a grid on the original photos so we could get the basic shapes placed properly. But the rest was painstaking attention to detail and craftsmanship -- something that people who are less motivated tend to not do.

So hold on to your dream. You're closer than you think.

(by the way I only looked at the first link.)

04-14-2014, 09:01 AM
Ain't you the funny one. A-girls like that would kill me, but what a way to go. B-My wife would strongly disapprove of it and kill me. Either way, bad situation. My point is that it takes years and years to be that good. I don't have that long to learn it. I MIGHT have 4 or 5 years left but I think 3 or 4 is closer to right.

Victor Osaka
04-14-2014, 11:39 AM
Well said DAkey.

D Akey
04-15-2014, 04:18 PM
. . .I don't have that long to learn it. I MIGHT have 4 or 5 years left but I think 3 or 4 is closer to right.

<Cue Mission Impossible Theme>

Assignment if you choose to accept it Mr Phelps:

You can either do this in the real world or in ArtRage. Up to you.

You'll have this technique nailed to perfection in far less than one if you hunker down and focus on this and this alone so you don't split your attention. And you'll have it mastered in about 40 real hours for the first one. And it gets a whole lot quicker and more polished once you've done it a time or two. Just settle in and have fun with the level of focus and concentration doing something this fine gives you. If you put in the time you should get it. You may nail it first time out of the shoot. Aim for that. That precision in hitting the bulls eye is what this process is all about.

Stuff: Artrage. . . or use a set of graphite pencils of varying softnesses. Kneaded eraser and/or other kind that will be easy on the paper. Hot Press illustration board. Strathmore paper is also good, but get a paper that's slick but will take graphite and won't warp and buckle from the heat and moisture of your hand (and you may want to keep a white handkerchief under your hand as you draw to keep the paper pristine). Q-tips, tissue, stuff for blending. I know you've got most of this stuff already, but the paper is important. And keep your pencils sharp as you go. Working somewhere between a 7"x7" or even a 4"x4" square to begin with is reasonable. Not too big for it to become overwhelming, not too small for detail.

1) Get yourself a good photo or two (one of your animals would serve if you light it well -- a really sharp, detailed photo).

2) Draw a grid over the original photo with crisp fine lines. Draw a corresponding grid on an acetate sheet and tape it to the top of your hot press illustration board (super slick so that the texture does not interfere with your drawing and you can blend smoothly). And you can tape the top edge above the drawing so you can flip the grid on and off but always go to the same place to get your bearings. I always would make tick marks at varying edges across the acetate and board to make sure it's always aligned when you use it. Or you can dispense with that and just do a very faint grid. But the idea is to find key points where the shapes and the lines intersect and use those like a connect the dots kind of orientation.
(if you're doing this in ArtRage the grid (and all the art supplies) is unnecessary since you can trace). But since you bought all those great pencils, you can use them for this purpose. I personally would only use graphite and don't include charcoal. This keeps the values and surface consistent and graphite blends with graphite better. Graphite is like little miniscule ball bearings believe it or not and so graphite tends to play well with graphite.

3) Once you have your basic drawing in lightly, you have basically chunked down the image into bite sized pieces and then you can do what they do not usually do in figure drawing or freer drawing styles, which is you do little sections at a time. Make them match EXACTLY. It's easier to do when you are only looking at replicating a little bit. See the lights and darks and the interactions and transitions and textures. If you're right handed I would recommend starting in the upper left and work down diagonally so as to not have to brush your hand against the drawing in order to avoid smudging. This is a small version of how muralists and billboard painters work. But take it to a finish with the full value range before you move on to the next area. Make sure you're getting the full value range from white of the paper all the way to the blackest black your graphite gives you.

3a) I don't recall whether fixative screwed anything up or not. They called it 'Workable Fixative' but just be really really careful about brushing anything against it and you might be good with a spraying at the end. (That's something you'll have to see based on your working method).

4) TAKE YOUR TIME AND PAY ATTENTION TO EVERY LAST DETAIL. Let the photo tell you what to do and match the values as best you can. I wouldn't use a print out from your printer as a source. A really sharp print from a good photo developer (or a magazine shot or something where you can really see what it happening is really important.)

5) If for some reason your impossible mission force is caught or killed, your sweet flower of wife can drop kick your behind through the screen door and onto the porch.

PS: The cool thing about getting good at this is that in addition to looking like a photo, you can start playing with that ability by combining image bits in surprising and delightful ways that allow you to really be creative. You won't just be a skilled wrist. You've linked to some very tight surrealists in the past so I know you like that and would really run with it.

Go man go GO GO! And HAVE FUN WITH IT. It's really worth it on every level, believe me.

04-17-2014, 05:13 AM
Those are all good points. I try to draw at least 2 hours a day either on AR or real media. I've had two drawings that came out so well they even surprised me, they were so good I got very little feedback, I think because I think people thought I cheated although I didn't.

D Akey
04-17-2014, 06:08 AM
Those are all good points. I try to draw at least 2 hours a day either on AR or real media. I've had two drawings that came out so well they even surprised me, they were so good I got very little feedback, I think because I think people thought I cheated although I didn't.

That's great. Glad you're seeing results already.

As to feedback, it's capricious. Get used to it. It's encouraging to get positive feedback and all, but if it doesn't come back as what you would like to have heard, try not to let it bum you out.

You're dealing not only with your own achievement, you're going to be dealing with lots of people's egos and their self-images that will be gauged by how good you're getting in comparison to where they themselves are. And it takes a particular skill to not fire up people's animosity. Projecting humility is also something that helps when dealing with people when you're getting good at something.

Inside we want to just jump for joy, but people don't necessarily share that joy at our successes and can all too often see our exuberance as flashing arrogance, when it's not at all. So all we can do is put the work out there, with some modicum of humility and security (a delicate balance), and what comes back comes back.

Remember, once you've done the work, it becomes about the relationship people have with the work of art. And oddly, what our work of art can be triggering inside them is their own insecurity. And since they don't get that cause and affect bit, they simplistically perceive that you are making them feel bad, and they could then lay that discomfort on the innocent artist.

I think that's why so many artists are either harsh personalities or very humble. Humility without being self-deprecating is a good skill to foster in conjunction with becoming a good artist. It's a tangent and an art unto itself. Just get ready for whatever comes from you shining. And keep going no matter what.

If you can find a way to make it all feel like you're including your audience in your success, like they're part of it, it'll go over better.

Edit: Just as a point of clarification, you're not going to run into that too much here though because these users are pretty extraordinary and there really isn't anybody doing what you're setting out to do so there won't likely be any bad vibes. Just speaking to the little matter of when you take your work into the world at large it's a tone you might run into and if you do, just let it roll off your shoulders.

04-17-2014, 03:30 PM
Yeah, I'm well used to that, and it doesn't bother me. I spent 12 years in yahoo chat, a very mean place and I was one of the meanest there. I'm not like that anymore and what's said in social media doesn't bother me. I started drawing hoping to get others approval, now I draw for myself, no one is harsher to me than me. That's my biggest obstacle. I keep expecting perfection but that isn't realistic at my level of experience.