I had a really fantastic art teacher explain a wonderful technique that I really like (for natural media). She had us use a piece of sandpaper with vine charcoal to make charcoal dust, and then rub it into a piece of paper all over, until you get an even medium gray over the whole thing. Then you can draw with charcoal to get darker areas, and erase to get lighter areas.
What I *learned* from this is exactly what you said... it's SO MUCH BETTER (and, for me, nigh infinitely easier) to do shapes, not lines. Lines are necessary so often, but they're the last thing to add, not the first place to start. And it matches our perceptions so much better.
Also, this makes "lost edges" (where there's a fade from, say, dark to light, with no hard boundary) extremely easy, whereas with pencil (as lines) it's nearly impossible. This helped me immensely.
And as much as I like doing black and white with charcoal using "real media", whenever I fire up ArtRage I just seem to "naturally" dive right into all those gorgeous colors :-) Guess I'll have to do something with that fantastic nine-gray color palette someone uploaded a while ago...
And, apropos to Flynn's point, another teacher (painting, this time) told us that when he's painted something in front of something else first, and then goes to do the background object, he just has to over-paint the foreground object to make the flow of the background object look right. Then he goes back and re-establishes the foreground image. Whew, that's not confusing at all... sorry... :-) ANYWAY, the point I got was that I should never see any bit of the painting as inviolate, and should be ready to overpaint it whenever necessary. Of course, with ArtRage's layers, this is often unnecessary, as I can just paint background things on a background layer, and they come out okay.
Last edited by yachris; 05-30-2009 at 12:56 PM.
WARNING: ArtRage can cause serious loss of time, and excessive smiling! Use with care! Frequently!
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