d343 111205 colored pencil

[111205 – 111220]

So this post features some doodles I did not during Thanksgiving break, but, surprisingly, during the weeks after.

I’ve kind of gotten at this in the past, but I think one of the issues I’ve been having in general is that the more I try to “polish” a drawing, the crappier it gets. To be more specific (in a really vague way), I just feel that things get “stiffer” or just less “fluid” when I actually try to commit to doing a full painting or whatnot. Often enough, I think the sketches leading up to a particular painting are, with respect to lineart mostly, better than the painting itself. The most telling manifestation of this phenomenon is something I’ve written about many times in the past; it’s that the lineart for a painting always turns out worse at the end.

And obviously I’ve tried various things in the past to get around this, the latest being that I’m using pencil linearts straight up with only a little bit of erasing, but even then I still find something just isn’t preserved.

So this colored pencil thing initially didn’t have anything to do with the whole polished = rubbish thing. I was just using the colored pencils to indicate the colors on some thoughts, and I was just messing with how exactly to apply the colors (like as shading or ontop of shading, etc). That’s the top left. Then I had this thought, and I was talking to J about this, about doing like shading and coloring in parallel rather than in series, and that’s kind of what’s going on in the bottom left and right. That didn’t go far, but I got two sketches out of it.

Those second turned out kind of rough, so I had the thought that I could tighten up the drawing a bit.

And in contrary to what I’ve just been saying, this is actually better than the previous two. For whatever reason I can tighten up sketches meant to be sketches/drawings, but not sketches/drawings meant to eventually form the basis of paintings. Maybe it’s completely psychological because it really doesn’t make that much sense. Colored pencil does a good job of transitioning to white. I’m not quite sure how to get it to blend quite well yet. This is also slightly better color wise because I used a different scanner/processing process.

So obviously I tried to make something more complete, but this one kind of falls short in quality. The lineart is a little iffy, and I don’t think I’m totally consistent in coloring. The actual colors came out pretty sharp, though.

There’s another thing going on here with regard to the lineart-degredation-during-process thing. At some point, I started painting simpler poses/angles with which I was more comfortable as another effort to minimize the LDDP thing. I’m not really sure where this starts, but I only really noticed I was at least semi-actively doing it in the Nagato/Asakura 2010 painting, and maybe moreso in the particularly crappy Akemi Homura 2011 painting.

I think that doing a full digital painting, at least with my current process, is just too big of a time commitment relative to what time I have. Because I do so few of them, I’m trying to make each one “good”, to the point where it’s just having a negative impact on quality. It might just be that the way I draw doesn’t lend itself easily to digital; I do feel like I do better in general when I’m “close” to the original work with respect to tooling (ie a digital painting has several layers of kind of physical/process abstraction between it and the actual paper).

Anyway, I just wanted to say that while this next one isn’t quite the “finished” piece in the “traditional”, digital sense, I’m still happier with it than with the previous few paintings.

This scan, for whatever reason, is actually very close to what is actually on my paper. I’m not sure how that happens.

The drawing incorporates most of things I’ve been thinking about recently. It has a pose/angle that I previously wouldn’t have considered in a formal painting, and maybe because it’s “sketch/drawing” quality, it’s turned out pretty well. The color, shading, and even some lineart were done in parallel, though I don’t think that really has much effect on anything for me. There’s also what’s probably going to be the topic of my next post, “hybrid shading”, where I’m trying to hybridize the hard shades you get from my usual hatch-shading and the soft shade gradients you get from “smooth” shading, which I basically haven’t used since half a decade ago.

On that note, the last time I did a colored pencil figure drawing (I say figure because I had a couple classes a couple quarters ago in which I used colored pencils fairly heavily) was in 2005. J points out that these current drawings are much grainier. I agree. I think it’s a combination of the sketchbook paper and how hard I press on it.

A couple other random thoughts: I think I’m getting more comfortable drawing dead-on faces, and kind of in parallel, getting better at balancing them. Getting less comfortable drawing profiles at the same time… Going to draw a “character thing” like J’s Touhou “power sketches” (or something like that; I forget exactly what he said), but with Love Hina characters. Also want to try drawing Pokemon again.

That’s it for this update, but I’m actually going to start writing the next one.

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