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How to Draw (and use our mind powers for it)

OhNoItsMook

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
175
Prelude

Powerofjustice's recent thread regarding the concept of giving and taking, has allowed me to come to the realization that I have very much held back from providing the knowledge I possess in my area of expertise, to the forums for many years.

However, with the recent creation of this sub-forum of Art & Music, I may now finally have a place to contribute the knowledge and experience I've accrued over my years, towards helping our community learn and develop in my own field of passion, that being art.

Specifically, digital illustration of human characters, and backgrounds. Nevertheless, the same knowledge and fundamentals also apply to traditional art (pencil & paper, watercolor, markers etc), and even other genres of drawing (mechas, animals, probably...). Interestingly enough, most of us started on paper before moving onto digital art, and there are still many professionals among us who sketch on paper and then scan and finalize their art digitally.

As you may or may not have seen me before on these forums, please allow me to provide an in-depth and definitely not vague introduction before I commence the deluge of information I'd been anticipating to share here for over 4 years.

Mook, Artist.

Now that we've totally gone over the full details of my entire identity, let me explain to you the absolute fundamentals of art that a beginning artist must focus on, at the very start of their eternal adventure that is the expression of our emotions and soul. Many artists in the beginning may possess a strong desire to begin learning illustration, but do not know how, or where to start. Surely, they wouldn't even have a painting program or a digital illustration device for it.

However, as I mentioned earlier, mostly all of us started with pencil and paper, and since the fundamentals are the same, it will actually carry over into digital art, once you get past the initial potential discomfort of using a pen and tablet, if you ever choose to go digital.

If you happen to like RPG games, think of art like an online RPG. Everyone starts with default equipment corresponding to their class, and everyone chooses their own path. Some branch out to different kinds of art, like music, or literature. Even in those different sectors of art, there's many genres of it underneath.

For example, illustration: Western comic style, Eastern anime/manga style, human characters, robotic/mechanical characters, creatures, etc.
Music: Rock, Jazz, Orchestra, etc.
Literature: Horror, mystery, romance, etc.

Since we're all literal mages in real life here, let's just say we're generally the Magician class as artists. It's very suiting, too, since the entire idea of art is to manifest in reality that which we express emotionally and psychologically, and from the soul level. What type of Magician you want to attribute your artistic identity to, I leave that to you.

With that said, let me introduce you to some of the fundamentals that will form as a basis for everything you do as you progress in your art journey. Spiritual Satanist is a very special mage class, and we have hidden, unique abilities that can help us in the acquisition of knowledge, and maybe even gain more EXP (and faster) compared to "normal" classes, or even "regular" mages...


The Fundamentals of Art  (The Plains of Beginnings!)



#1 - Gesture Drawing  (Slime) (Lv.1)

First and foremost, without exception, for the most part: Gesture/figure drawing. Figure drawing is the act of observing a pose from a photograph, and attempting to comprehend its forms of dynamism and movement through usage of the "line of action" (an imaginary line that runs through any pose, static or moving), and loose shapes such as circles and ovals to roughly represent parts of the body.

Understanding the flow of the human body in different poses from the very beginning, and how to capture it, ultimately already saves you from the first novice trap of trying to draw things without construction or dynamism.

The key to practicing and comprehending this, is to repeatedly perform figure drawing as a regular warm-up, under 2 minutes or less. As you become used to this process, you should aim to be able to mostly draw a loose pose of which the action you can visibly identify by its flows alone, within 30 seconds.

Here is an example depicting the concept of flow in poses.
Translation: What is the flow of the body?
(left) No flow
(right) with flow.
(Bottom text) Expressing the flow is important when posing!

01-min.jpg

(Source: Palmie.jp (https://www.palmie.jp/lessons/267)


There are many sites out there designed for artists to practice figure drawing. Personally, the two sites I've used for years where I have been able to effectively practice figure drawing, are Line of Action, and PoseManiacs. The former uses real photographs, the latter uses anatomical models, which I'll mention again later in this post.

An example of using photographs as reference when practicing figure drawing and poses:

iu

Source: Pinterest

(Personal experience: I remember in the beginning, my first sketch with zero fundamentals took 6 hours and looked like splattered shit. I used all my mana just to defeat a slime that only gave 1 EXP, basically. Don't be like me. Always start from fundamentals)

Unique ability usage: Activate your third eye and tap into intuition as you observe the poses, and "feel" the flow. Every one of us sees and starts drawing from different parts of the pose, and constructs it differently. One of the most crucial elements of learning is intuitively discovering a method that suits you, individually, and our abilities help us understand ourselves enough to find exactly which way works best personally.


Also, understanding of gesture and shape applies to anything, not just humans:

content_14.png

(Source: https://ichi-up.net/2019/30)

basicshapesdrawing.jpg

(Source: The Virtual Instructor)

#2 - Construction and 3d shapes (Rock Elemental) (Lv.2)

Here is an example portraying how the human body can be simplified into a combination of several different 3d shapes:

iu

(Source: Clip Studio Paint tutorials)

The human body and any targeted subject, is constructed of complex forms that can be visually simplified and broken down into 3d shapes. For example, the head, torso and pelvis during the construction phase can generally be drawn as cubes, and the joints such as shoulders, elbows and knees simplified into spheres. The arms and legs, cylinders, and the hands and feet, as triangles, wedges or pentagons.

Once you understand how to visualize complex objects and structures as a combination of cubes, cylinders, spheres, cones and rectangles, and many other different 3d shapes, you can begin creating relatively comprehensible mannequins of humans, and anything else you wish to draw. As you become used to it, you'll realize most areas of the body or subject don't precisely conform to a certain shape. In these cases, like carving out a block, you gradually shape it into the part you intend to draw, as it begins to resemble your target more and more.

To familiarize yourself with drawing 3d shapes, try to draw all sorts of shapes and connect them on top or aside one another to obtain a feel as to how you might draw a real object in the future. Remember, everything can be simplified to a bunch of interconnected, stacked 3d objects. A closet, for example, is a rectangle with smaller rectangles for the handles. A door is a rectangle with a smaller rectangle and sphere for the doorknob.

Unique ability usage: After vividly observing the photograph of the subject (remember to use references), human or otherwise, close your physical eyes and use your astral sight to attempt to reconstruct what you just saw, as three-dimensional shapes. Entirely replicating what you see can be too hard at first and is also not the point here, so using your astral vision forces you to comprehend and construct something while also using both your creativity and intuition, as they tell you what stands out the most to you, and how to recreate it.

Construction will also help in visualizing things in perspective, which leads us to the next fundamental.



#3 - Perspective  (Wind Elemental)  (Lv.3)  (Arguably level 666 or something once you cross into advanced levels...)

Perspective is the construction of the surrounding environment in which the subject is depicted, and also the space and distance perceived based on what is shown to be nearer, and farther away to the viewer. ...Yeah. This is a monster that scales with your own level, so it will almost always be difficult regardless of your level of advancement.

For now, let's just talk about how perspective can be incorporated into drawing characters. Backgrounds and the like are for the next chapter zone.

Understanding perspective is fundamental in depicting your subject in both a convincing and visually appealing manner, as we begin to include how the viewer visually perceives the subject in space, and this can possess a major impact in the expressiveness and mood of the illustration. You may have heard of foreshortening, which is typically when part of the character seems to reach out towards the viewer, like their hand, or foot. This is already somewhat advanced usage of perspective on the character alone, excluding how perspective can be used for backgrounds and the like, too.

Similarly to film and photography, a character viewed from somewhat far away can create a feeling of distance, or isolation. Whereas a close up, perhaps diagonal shot of the character's face can be much more impactful and dramatic in conveying their emotions, and expression. This is one example of the usage of perspective to convey different moods.

Here is an example displaying how different angles of the same general action and character, can create very different expressions depending on the artist's usage of perspective:

01.jpg

(Source: Wacom tutorials)

One way to familiarize oneself with incorporating perspective into one's illustrations, is to practice drawing 3d shapes and objects in different angles. Eventually, you will want to apply this to poses, and try to draw the same pose at 3 different points of view . This will also massively help later on, where you're drawing out random ideas and then choose 1 to finalize into a full illustration.

What we know as a "focal point" is the focus of the scene, towards which our eyes are drawn first and foremost, and what we wish to present to the viewer as the main subject of interest. This can be anything that serves as the center of attention amidst the rest of the scene. This could be the face, eyes, the weapon reaching out towards the viewer, etc.

In the case of my own art, it's often the chest and butt HAHAHAHA (oh, fuck...)

Unique ability usage: When you're drawing a pose from different angles, you can, once again, actually use your astral vision to surmise what something would look like from a different perspective. Not just see, but if you use Merging Consciousness, you can actually feel and experience anything you want.
This is really, really hard for normal people, but we've undergone the spiritual training to gain these abilities, which grants us a massive edge over anybody. (Something even harder is to feel yourself in the pose and sense where the centre of gravity leans the skeletal structure to determine the flow of the spine, angle of the hips, and positions of the feet, but that's some next level shit...)

Of course, you should still use references when you can, and a tip for poses is to use 3d models that you can turn around and see from other angles. Effective sites for this are PoseManiacs once again, and surprisingly, SketchFab.

SketchFab is actually supposed to be used to purchase 3d models, but we're really just using it to inspect stuff and practice drawing. You can search for something, click something you like, and turn it around at different angles, zoom in and practice for all your studies.



#4 - Anatomy  (Wooden Training Doll) (level 4)

With the previous fundamentals, especially #2, construction, learning anatomy actually becomes a lot easier than it might seem. Some (many?) of us already have experience in physical training and/or martial arts, or even TCM (Hi, Blitz!), so we might be more familiar with the muscular system.

Regardless, when we research the muscular and skeletal structures of the human body for artistic purposes, we can simplify areas of the body into simpler shapes, that help us understand the structure to a more easily comprehensible degree. However, the difference with actually knowing anatomy, is that simplification is really for the purposes of establishing an initial understanding of the complexity of the human body. Most of us do not stop at the simplification, but carve and detail it further to resemble the muscles we intend to draw.

Here's an example of a color-coded portrayal of the muscles in the forearm. Previously, one might have simplified the forearm as a cylinder or bottle shape, but as we can see, there's a lot more going on inside.

iu

(Source: Pinterest)

Now, you might be thinking, "Remembering muscles sucks. Do I really need to know anatomy to draw characters?"

Actually, no, you don't. One of us in my field was a woman who is a professional artist, and hadn't picked up an anatomy book until she was in college (but she still did in the end, right?). She had gone by shapes and construction entirely, and the rest of the fundamentals, without really knowing muscular structure or anything of the like. So technically, no, you actually don't need to know anatomy in order to draw characters (to an extent).

However, you are in my opinion crippling yourself when it eventually comes to situations where you might wish to vary the kinds of characters you draw, or the extents of detail you wish to draw their body at, which also depends on the genre and theme of your art.

More realistic styles such as those often seen in horror, action, and sexual art, where there is much emphasis on the body and details included, do absolutely require anatomical knowledge in order for the intended atmosphere or resonance to be conveyed in a convincing manner towards the viewer.

Even potentially more simple art styles, where the intention is to portray a fragile, cute character, the artist still possesses the actual anatomical knowledge most of the time, but specifically decides to simplify it for the sake of the target resonance of the character. If they didn't have the knowledge in the first place, every character would generally have the same body type, including characters of the opposite gender.

Basically, learning anatomy is for the sake of understanding the structure beneath that which you see, and will only further enhance your comprehension of whatever characters you intend to draw, adding more opportunities and variation. It's a very useful skill, and you could purposely choose not to use it, but having it and not using it is different than straight up not having it!

Since we're talking about drawing human characters, it would be to our benefit to understand the structure of the human body. When you feel like you have attained a comprehensive understanding of muscular anatomy, try studying the skeletal structure, as well. Muscles are connected to the skeleton, after all! This will also help in gesture drawing and posing, to understand how the muscles of the body stretch and turn, resulting in some very natural, beautifully dynamic poses.

PoseManiacs has a function where you can toggle color-coded appearances of the muscles when viewing the anatomical models, allowing for easier visibility. We didn't have this back when I started, so make the most of it!



#5 - Lighting and Shading  Dark/Light Elemental (Lv. 5)


Another important fundamental in art, is the understanding of light and shadow. Lighting and shading allows us to establish vivid form and dimension in a subject, and it is what allows it to feel as though it truly looks to be present, despite it being in a 2-dimensional illustration. Essentially, it gives form and a sense of realism to something.

Here is an example of the basics of lighting and shading upon a sphere:

96fe0e7890ca329ac23609f1f1b9aa93.jpg

(Source: Pinterest)

Plainly, shadow is where light does not reach, but this is actually not entirely true. When light shines onto another surface or color in the immediate environment, the light that bounces off of it can actually seep into the shadow as a colored form of light, and this is called bounce light, or reflected light. Although black and white, you can see the slight, soft arc of light around the outer edge of the shaded area despite it being the opposite side of the light source. If you were to imagine a pearl on a metal surface, you would see a similar effect.

Now, since a sphere is round, the light that shines upon it will disperse across its curved surface, causing the shadow to resemble a gradient of light and shadow, rather than a sharp, abrupt transition as would occur with a cube.

To familiarize yourself with lighting and shading, practice drawing and shading several 3d shapes such as spheres, cubes, cones, and rectangles. You will quickly come to understand how light and shadow appear differently (or similarly) on each of these shapes, such as in the following example:


29a11dda1f5c436ef455cb01e9e10fa9.jpg

(Source: Pinterest)


As well as here:


af470256931bb4cd412536a3f28bc0ac.jpg

(Source: Pinterest)


When you've become familiar with shading 3d shapes, you can move towards applying lighting and shading techniques onto characters, starting from the face, hair, and body. When you begin applying shadows to characters, you will discover the interesting effect that shading has on the overall impact, and mood of the expression and scene...

Although the examples from here on out are of digital art and coloring, the same elements of color, light and shadow apply to traditional art, as well. This is visible in many old, famous paintings of realistic portraits.

162888b1241b8e9d97fea757dc7c5ab8.jpg

(Source: Pinterest)

The following example is part of a guide on a Japanese site and includes some notes. I'll provide translation.

(The images are from right to left; right being before, and left being after applying shading.)

"On a Multiply layer, cover the hair, face, body, everything and blend the shading, then reduce transparency. Reduce level of shading wherever you like."
(arrow) "Reducing it like this over here, adds a sense of atmosphere"
(which it does; the power of bounce light. That slight, lighter purple could've been blue to add a sense of general air or sky, but this is entirely up to the artist's intentions)

content_%E6%8F%8F%E3%81%8D%E6%96%B9_%E8%96%84%E8%89%B2%E9%AB%AA09.jpg

(Source: https://ichi-up.net/2020/15)

As well as the following.

"On a Hard Light layer, paint a color with high saturation (usually red for skin) on the boundary where light and shadow meet."

content_%E6%8F%8F%E3%81%8D%E6%96%B9_%E8%96%84%E8%89%B2%E9%AB%AA11.jpg

(Source: https://ichi-up.net/2020/15)

She's talking about SSS; Sub-surface Scattering. This is a lighting and coloring technique where when light seeps through a surface, it carries that subject's color through the shadow until a certain range. You'll see it when you put a flashlight against your hand and see the red of your flesh shine through the opposite end.

Example:

iu

(Source: bgates87 (lmao))


As you can see, there's a highly saturated red, right at the boundary between where hard light hits, and the shadow begins. This does not always have to apply, especially when the light isn't that strong, but it is a huge factor in establishing a strong lighting effect.

It also doesn't have to be red; it's only red because the subject is human skin in the previous examples. Try to imagine what color would permeate the shadows of a blue water balloon, or on a tree surrounded by green or even orange leafs.

No unique ability usage for us that I can think of this time, as it's relatively straight-forward.

Now... onto my favorite part...


#6 - Color Theory (BOSS FIGHT!!)  Rainbow Slime  (Lv. 6)

Hahaha. Where do I even begin?

Color theory conveys the idea that certain zones of the color wheel, and particular color combinations at specific angles and ranges result in colors that will always be visually and emotionally pleasing to the human eye. It is almost objective, which doesn't exist in art, but if you pull off color theory from the beginning, something can look good even if the rest of the illustration looks like shit, basically. That is the power of this fundamental, and many people tend to overlook it, especially in the beginning.

In fact, we even have professionals who don't know color theory. Of course, it's an artist's decision whether or not to incorporate it into their art, and there are some cases where it doesn't work, such as when someone wishes to use darker, less saturated colors to convey more of a purposely dull and somber atmosphere. Nevertheless, it is still incredibly important to know, and among an artist's strongest weapons (and even stronger when it's us who wield it)

Allow me to provide a few general example combinations of color theory.

colour-wheel-shutterstock_462583519.jpg

(Source: ...the web)

At first sight, it might be daunting to see how many different types of colors we can use in our art, for different kinds of moods and feelings. As we out of all people should know, different colors have different properties, and each resonate a particular feeling or quality. What's interesting, though, is that this can even be felt by normal humans, because all humans have a deep, primal, spiritual connection to colors due to our chakras and soul, as the soul is made of light and color is how light is broken down for our vision to perceive, all this be known or not to regular people.

Meaning you can evoke any intended atmosphere or feeling in your illustration through mastery over color theory, allowing you to basically control what emotions you want the viewer to feel when they look at it, through the usage of the colors in your drawings. It's fucking crazy if you think about it. Let this be a major upgrade to your skill level and stats.

Earlier, I showed several of the main color combinations. Truth is, even I haven't used half of those, and coloring is my strongest area. You can eventually try them all out if you wish, for experience, and see which one suits a particular scheme that you resonate with, but the bottom line is: you can get away for eternity with really just the Triadic and Complementary type. Or two others of your choice. That's all there is to it, for the most part.

For beginners, when you're shading and coloring your illustration (on a Multiply layer), as long as you shade with a color that is 1/3rd counter-clockwise to the base color, you're done.

Here's a simpler version of color theory that may be of benefit to those who prefer starting out with something easier:

maxresdefault.jpg

(Source: Youtube Thumbnail)

As you can see, we have warm colors, and cool colors. These are colors that our senses mostly attribute to what we perceive to be hot (red, yellow, orange), and cold (blue, green, and purple). This is the reason why red is considered lively, whereas blue can be sad or solemn.

Of course, the effects of a color depends on many different factors, such as the saturation level, surrounding colors, which "side" of the color (dark, mossy green towards blue, or bright, happy green towards yellow), but as I said, this is simply to establish some basic understanding for one who is just starting out.

Nothing is ever just it on its own, in art; everything is subjective, and can change as a result of anything else in the illustration.

Unique ability usage: Before coloring your painting, or starting your drawing for that matter, void meditate and begin to feel what kind of emotions you wish to spill into your drawing. The emotions you feel and the sensations that arise, will define what kind of color scheme and the levels of saturation, contrast, etc. you can use to convey such emotions to the fullest. I personally have had people physically jolt and experience chills from some of my most strongly colored works, as a result of the emotions I cascaded into it; it was tangible to even normal people.

Conclusion

As I mentioned in the beginning of this long post, many of us possess a creative desire to try drawing and painting, but might not quite know where to begin. I believe that the creative potential we possess as not just humans, but Spiritual Satanists, must be allowed to be expressed through a medium that pertains to our desires, and allows us to evoke that which resides in our hearts and creative minds.

If that happens to be the path of illustration, I dearly, strongly hope with all my soul that one of you may pursue and find your path as an illustrator as a result of this post I made. From the effort I finally stuck into helping people with my knowledge here. I mean that with all my identity.

There are one or two more fundamentals I may have forgotten, but with these six, a beginning artist right out of the gate should be able to start working on developing everything they need. It is also important to note, that these fundamentals, all in combination are what will eventually perfect your artistic abilities.
Leaving or skipping them out will lead to breaks and gaps in your output, even as someone advanced and above; I've experienced this myself, and have had to return to fix these very basics I just laid out for new artists.

Although this might sound somewhat overwhelming, everything I wrote in this post, is actually only a glimpse of all else I still have to say. Remember, this was just a guide for beginners, LOL.

Upon defeating the Rainbow Slime, and grinding all the fundamentals for maybe a year (or two), I will welcome you to the next chapter, where much more awaits you as an intermediate artist by then. And beyond that, you can only guess what else...

Thank you so much for reading everything; it took me 10 hours to write all of this. May you advance in not just art, but spiritual powers as well, the very ones we can use to rapidly accelerate our growth in this field, using our mind's abilities.

If there is anything anyone wishes to ask me, or if there are already experienced artists who wish to request guides for higher level issues, please tell me about what struggles you may be facing in art, and I might create new threads on some of the most common walls we all face as artists.
 
This is awosome. I hope everybody will teach, and write sermons about the things that he/she is a master of it.

I realy like the idea of Satanists teaching here avarge, casual things. This is also opening the path to link Satanist sermons, to online groups, like a drawing group.

(the avarge, casual indicators is not to be scornful, I just couldn't find a better word. I actually realy adore every kind of art.)
 
This is an amazing guide! I remember a good chunk from former art classes but there are some basics even that I should grasp better. I really like the idea of repeated practice of certain shapes. I think this is something I really need. I will certainly be using this tutorial as a reference and you can expect some questions in the future :)! Thanks Mook!
 
Powerofjustice said:

This is amazing! You've laid everything out so clearly, I'm sure many will benefit.


Wow!! I'm super happy to see you coming here as the one who initially inspired me to contribute this to the forums! I have gained a lot of learning from several previous threads you have made, so when I saw you in my notifications, I was a little nervous, lol. I'm glad I was able to comprehensibly convey something I am able to teach our members here, and I, too, hope that this may benefit many.



AFODO said:
This is awosome. I hope everybody will teach, and write sermons about the things that he/she is a master of it.

I realy like the idea of Satanists teaching here avarge, casual things. This is also opening the path to link Satanist sermons, to online groups, like a drawing group.

(the avarge, casual indicators is not to be scornful, I just couldn't find a better word. I actually realy adore every kind of art.)


Thank you so much! You're super right; it excites me to see when Spiritual Satanists express their passion and knowledge in "normal" interests that are unrelated to Satanism. It reminds me that apart from us being SS, each one of us are still people with a field of passion and experience in our normal lives, too.

I would laugh really hard (but be truly happy) if a non-SS artist finds this thread, and eventually Dedicates because of it. Thank you for bringing that image into my mind!



Aquarius said:


Thank you, Aquarius! I am humbled to have you here. Much respect.



Shadowcat said:
This is an amazing guide! I remember a good chunk from former art classes but there are some basics even that I should grasp better. I really like the idea of repeated practice of certain shapes. I think this is something I really need. I will certainly be using this tutorial as a reference and you can expect some questions in the future :)! Thanks Mook!


I am exhilarated to hear that my knowledge is of benefit to you, Shadowcat! Some of us might have already received some information regarding particular basics, but I hope the knowledge conveyed in this thread helps to stack on top of that which we already knew prior, and enforces it. Even I still have to go over the basics every now and then, so it's all in our benefit to review something we might potentially already be familiar with!

I look forward to questions you and anyone else might have, and anything else I might be able to assist with in the future, as we advance. We face walls at any level of progression, and I myself understand how tough some of them can be in the beginning. But with the right information (and instructor), everyone will be able to improve their abilities in not just art, but other areas of life, too.
 
Alright, so...

Towards the end of the main post, I mentioned I may have forgotten one or two fundamentals. Surely enough, I did, and in the following post, I am going to elaborate upon another fundamental that is important when constructing the human body (and potentially animals).


(Hidden Encounter!) - Proportions Angry Meter Stick (Lv. 3)


When drawing the human body, even if one has familiarized themselves with construction using 3d shapes, and possesses an adequate understanding of anatomy, one may find issues in illustrating a character in regards to what lengths and widths the body is actually divided into. This is measured by what we call proportions.

In order to practice proportions, since we base off our scale on heads, try to segment the body's proportions based on the size of the head.

Although it strongly varies depending on the intended age of the character, body type, and the art style, proportions of an average human adult are generally understood to be 8 heads for tall men, and 7.5 for tall women, when I research in English.

As displayed:

98474c63f9e19e8637cace196f6790e8.jpg

(Source: Pinterest)

And here:

1999012_1a5c.jpg

(Source: https://comidoc.net/udemy/inouegirl)

Interestingly enough, when I research this in Japanese instead, we commonly use merely 5-6 heads for female characters, and increase the size of the head in proportion to their shoulders to make them look "cuter" (I personally don't do that myself, though, as it makes me uncomfortable).

Here is an example showing conventional manga proportions for female characters:

20190802.jpg

(Source: gazovkhh.blogspot.com)

Another example, based on the height of 6 heads.

The translation is irrelevant to the proportional measurements, but the artist outlines the process, which might be helpful, so...

"Draw 6 heads" -> "Draw lines while conscious of the positions of the elbows, crotch, etc." -> "Sketch, Line art" -> "Done!"

20181011021944.png

(Source: https://rakugaki-illustration.hatenablog.com/entry/2018/10/11/231427

Although here, we have an example presenting longer proportions, that of 8 heads, resulting in a much more realistic appearance to the characters:

b0e36754e25b17554caf23e70f727111.jpg

(Source: Pinterest)

So as we can see, it massively depends on how young, cute, mature, tall, realistic, stylized, etc. you wish to depict the target character, but you must understand the rules before you bend them.

Proportions are how we perceive the length and width of the human body, both in its entirety and in comparison to certain body parts. An illustration of a character can look glaringly unsettling if proportions of the body, or even just the face, aren't physically attuned with what our minds perceive to be "correct", or natural-looking.

Here is an example of how misaligned proportions can cause an illustration to feel "wonky":

_D9BvY42y5B3XjqszccZEWSBklYwpS8Ju6Mkn7AJNBttdUaBc_hb9SgRKtr9PkDSjo881npL69A4yzC3G2VjBGs5994_ShDSXldHWY1javM9Z1A66fczWEtjOHJSUD6h

(Source: MyAnimeList)

Yeah... that's from an actually published manga.

Let's practice familiarizing ourselves with several ranges of proportions of the human body. 8 heads, 7 heads, 6 and below, etc. Once you're familiar with drawing the proportions of the human body, you should once again combine this with the rest of the fundamentals, particularly figure drawing.

There will be cases where you will realize that in highly dynamic poses and angles, when perspective is included, proportions can actually change as a result of the angle at which we view the body. When this happens, you can kind of stretch the rules when it comes to proportions, for the purposes of exaggeration, but this is slightly more advanced (you can kind of see this in the example provided in the main, original post, under Perspective).

Here's an example of how proportions might change when foreshortening is incorporated (the foot looks "bigger" than the head due to the perspective and angle):

4530961i

(Source: included in image) (Artist is Deino3330, though)

In photography:

Unusual_angle_by_Mademoiselle_Lou.jpg

(Source: ...web)

This also applies to the proportions of the face, which one should study too, alongside that of the body:

57ce0c2403f4d45cece3bac7cb86f099.jpg

(Source: Pinterest)

As I mentioned earlier, you must understand the rules and basics, before you choose to incorporate more advanced methods, or unique approaches.

But when you do, and you do it right... you could potentially create some very interesting, unique creations.
 
Great thread! Would having strong Venus and Neptune influences help?
 
Thank you very much, everybody! I hope everyone's able to learn a lot from my writings here, and that we will all be able to improve our illustrative abilities together, myself included. I actually learn a lot from teaching this kind of material, solely because it urges me to recall the memories and knowledge of what I've spent years of effort into learning.

In the original post, I had mentioned that I may or may not have forgotten one or two additional fundamentals, one of which I had resolved and elaborated upon in my previous additional post.

However, now, I have come to remember the second one I had completely forgotten about, solely because of my own lack of awareness of it myself!

You see, as I was working on manuscripts, I realized that I was having trouble positioning certain aspects and elements of the scenes in a sufficiently interesting, and eye-catching manner.

This led me to remember the concept of composition in art, and how it massively contributes to the overall orientation of the subjects we wish to depict in our drawings.

Allow me to introduce to you one more fundamental I can remember at the moment to teach novice artists, one which also possesses qualities in other sectors such as photography, film, and design as well.


(Hidden Encounter!) - Composition Invisible Glass Box(?) (Lv.3)


Composition, is the general arrangement and division of the space and surroundings around the subject, positioned with awareness as to ''frame'' the subject(s) or other focal points of the illustration (or photograph, for that matter).
It is generally understood that with proper understanding of composition, we can depict a scene or character in ways that can drastically change the overall perceived mood of the image.

This is similar to the fight explaining Perspective earlier, in the original post, as composition and perspective, much like the rest of the fundamentals, must be used in combination with one another to produce a work of impressionable impact.

Here is an example providing several basic forms of composition:

fa20de8fe4ec125275ebc77bbce0c26c.jpg

(Source: Pinterest, Mitch Leeuwe)

The top left and bottom left examples show scenes that utilize the Rule of Thirds, which you may have heard of before in photography and film-making.

In the first example, it is shown to be used for a close-up scene displaying the characters' faces, whereas in the bottom left example, it is more zoomed out and introductory or transitory to the environment, making the character feel small and boxed in. You see this a lot in horror, especially in combination with darker shading and less saturation.

The examples in the 2nd row, show a triangular form of composition. The triangle itself is often seen in scenes depicting angularity, and depending on the direction and shape of the triangle, can feel disorientating and tilted.
For this reason, it can often be felt in dramatic or chaotic scenes, too, but you must understand that anything can be turned into anything depending on other aspects involved, but these are the basics.

Here is another example showing different methods of composition:

iu

(Source: Pinterest)

As you may have discovered, there are many different ways to undergo the positioning of subjects in a scene. The general purpose of composition, is to direct the viewer's eyes along the scene towards the focal point(s), in a particular order.

For example, if you'd like the viewer to see a character up front first before something else further in the back, you'd draw the character closer to the camera and, if you intend to, choose how to direct their face or body for the viewer's "visual flow" to go by.

It's almost like we become film directors in the sense that we want to pose the character a certain way, or make them face somewhere so as to make us look where they're looking. Or do the same thing for the environment itself, pointing parts of the environment towards what we wish the viewer to focus on.

Below are examples of different types of composition in both photography and painting:

golden-triangle-photography-04-1.jpg

(Source: https://expertphotography.com/golden-triangle/)


An example utilizing not just lighting and shading, but also distance to contribute to composition and the focal point, focusing on the tree closer to us before we notice the tree further away:

eb6c20ab185216414ee314f5f1787a94.jpg

(Source: Pinterest)

An example this time incorporating texture and sharpness to emphasize the focal point.

847b0bdd6c804f4c761f44067c591031.jpg

(Source: Pinterest)

Tell me, where did your eyes go first?


Furthermore, composition does not only apply to backgrounds and environments; in fact, it can be used to largely impact the expressiveness and dynamism of a character in the scene.

Here is an example showing the usage of triangular composition in the posing of a character:


7f1e796cc7f57c06ea9c9cf562073e53.jpg

(Source: 虎狼さきり)


Hell, the paintings of Father Satan himself follow composition. Do you notice how He's positioned directly in the center, then our eyes follow the direction of His wings and we come to notice the rest of the environment? The purple structure also serves as foreground, which is another element in composition, but also in constructing environments, though that goes into slightly intermediate territory.

Father_HD.jpg

(Source: guess, lol)

Here, the focal point is Father Satan (especially in combination with the lighting and shading), as He faces left, the other God looking downwards, drawing our vision into the same direction towards the fallen at the bottom. With knowledge of composition, artists can calculate exactly how the viewer's eyes will cross their work. Knowledge is power!

Father.jpg


We can see compositional techniques applied to Paradise Lost, too:

Father_s_Palace.jpg



The following example portrays a process in which, before the artist chooses a scene to expand into a full illustration, they lay out several different kinds of composition in accordance to how they wish to depict the characters therein.

(I mentioned that this is an important part of the brainstorming phase in the Perspective fight in the first, original post as well.)

step2-1.jpg

(Source: http://iradukai.com/making/614/rudia_step2.html)

After choosing #6 to continue with, the artist begins laying out the perspective and composition based on how they wish to portray the characters.

step2-4.jpg



Then, the artist roughly applies the colors and continues with the rest of the illustrative process, but we're only focusing on the compositional aspects here.

The reason I am including this, is to show how not only composition, but also lighting and coloring will have a strong impact upon where the viewer's eyes will move towards. This is important in determining the sequence of how we wish to present the scene to the audience, and where they will look in what order.

step2-8.jpg

(Source: http://iradukai.com/making/614/rudia_step2.html)
>" at the bottom of the page to see the artist's full process)[/i]


When it comes to art, you must take everything into mind, as something that might not work alone, can begin feeling better once other fundamentals and elements are incorporated, as the process continues.
This also applies the other way around, in the sense that something that used to look good, can sometimes begin to look off or strange with the addition of other things.

Meaning, you don't have to strictly and exactly conform to the compositional methods provided as examples earlier on, or really, any of the fundamentals. But as I have mentioned before, you must know the rules before you bend them.

The last thing I would want anyone here to do, is do shit like me when I first started out; I was literally calculating shapes by the degrees just to match the "perfect" ratios of the Golden Rectangle, and my drawings still looked like ass. I took things too literally, when art should be a strongly intuitively sensed craft, with an extent of logical structure.

When it comes to the fundamentals of art, aside from everything I have written here, there is indubitably some other thing I must have forgot, but for now, this, and the rest of the posts I have made here, once again all in combination, are what should result in major growth at a rather premature level.

With awareness of these 8 fundamentals (so far), other artists will be wondering how the Hell you improved so fast.

I look forward to providing more information regarding anything anybody might be wondering here. So every now and then, be sure to review what I have written, and what might be discussed here!


Yurei said:
Great thread! Would having strong Venus and Neptune influences help?

Yes, most definitely. Potentially Mars too, actually, for the aspects of motivation and endurance, but my knowledge in astrology is rather limited.

Venus, absolutely. But one interesting thing is, when it comes to Neptunian energies, I came across a thread where I believe Lydia mentioned vibrating Erishkegal's name every day, with the intention of connecting with her. I did this myself some time ago, and so far I've started experiencing some of the greatest breakthroughs in my art, in recent time.
 
Lydia [JG said:
" post_id=448945 time=1686640383 user_id=57]
It is wonderful to see you making such professional posts teaching your skill, OhNoItsMook :)

Wow!! I am so happy and honored to receive such kind words from you, Lydia. You've always been an inspiration to me, yourself. You've no idea how glad I was to receive this comment from you!

If anything, there's actually much, much more I would love to teach openly here, things I would wish to show everyone by my own hand rather than pulling images and articles from the web. If it weren't for the fact that I would lose my career, I would have been able to teach even more than I have written up until now.

Art is a beautiful way to express that which resonates the quality of our souls, and the beauty that resides within. Once again, it is an ineffable honor to know that my knowledge has been of valuable contribution to the learning of not only our community, but also to specific individuals whom I particularly respect, such as yourself.

May everyone look forward to even more art-related knowledge in the future. Any questions, and I'll try my best to help!
 
Greetings, everyone! Over the past few weeks of working my ass off with my own illustrative abilities for 8-10 hours every day (this tends to happen when crunching deadlines are involved), I have come to a fantastic realization.

This thread is called "How to Draw", NOT just the Fundamentals of Art! Therefore, on top of the previous knowledge I have shared here, I will provide some helpful forms of information that will assist you more rather in the psychological side of art, that which precedes the initial physical act of pushing the pencil or brush, before you even hit the canvas at all.

The information below, too, will assist you in "How to Draw", beyond solely the fundamentals. With many of these, you can improve the quality of your art just by possessing the sole awareness of certain points, essentially providing solutions you can apply instantly.

We, as artists, physically(?) create that which we forge from our thoughts and emotions, i.e., subconscious, i.e., soul, in order to express our feelings to both ourselves and the world, and essentially influence the minds (and souls) of others affected by what we display. What we draw is, to a major extent, an extension of how we think and feel.

However, one of the issues is, no one in the beginning possesses the ability to draw things the way they hoped or visualized in their minds, even if you have strong astral vision. Because, the arm and hand is the literal physical catalyst we use to draw a depiction of what is in our minds and hearts, and it's not exactly perfectly synchronized when one has just started. How many times have you had the sickest fight scene in your mind, only for the poses or expressions to look like shit? Or the maddest scenery ever, but you gave up at merely at the horizon line?

These are simply some of the results of disparity between the physical and psychological sides of art, even if you've familiarized yourself with all the fundamentals listed earlier on in this thread. I am going to address some of these blockages, as well as some recurring concepts that seem to spread often in art circles, and how to overcome various difficulties, hopefully allowing you to surpass the barriers of which artists normally struggle to discover the reasons behind.

Let us commence the destruction of our limits.


This part of the thread assumes you've read and preferably already performed some of the original fundamentals to an extent, already.


Awareness Point #1 - Lines


If you've ever seen someone copy a drawing, you will have seen this happen, guaranteed (or we did it ourselves in the beginning; I did, too).

iu

(Source: https://asakiriu.com/how-to-draw-a-line/)

Why does it feel like one's lines can sometimes feel wobbly, out of shape, and possess no direction, nor depth?

What happens here, is when an artist might not be aware of the concept of line technique. Line technique is a term that refers to the conscious awareness of how we stroke a line, that determines the smoothness, width, curvature, continuity and contour. On top of this, it also requires consistent repetition in order to seep the habit into our subconscious i.e., muscle memory.

There are different kinds of lines, and different ways to emphasize particular qualities to them. Lengthy singular strokes with a pressure that trails off towards the end can feel elegant, smooth, and generally more professional due to the confidence in the stability of the line.

This kind of awareness of strokes, in combination with line techniques such as line weight, line breaking, to add depth, emphasize roundness, etc., will provide immense assistance in the overall quality of your line art. You can see how the top part of the character's head possesses such depth, due to the outer lines at the tip breaking to suggest the origin point of the hair, as well as the beginning of the bangs. You'll see this same effect suggesting the seams of the sleeves on the character's uniform.

An easy rule to go by, is thicker lines = more emphasis, or closer to viewer (when perspective is applied). Try to go over the lines again and press harder to apply emphasis in any desired area. This is a technique called line weighting, and erasing it a little to create roundness or lightness, is called line breaking.

eef4e27f0bbc8c5b25b7e0b024f86ae3.jpg

(Source: https://oekaki-zukan.com/articles/19811

The above provides another example, though, generally, it's actually the upside-down that happens for hair, as the tips of hair strands (especially the bangs) are often depicted with such an effect to frame the eyes, or suggest lightness at the ends.

At the same time, the left example is one depicting the absence of such techniques instead, resulting in wobbly, unstable lines. There's also the fact that the lines at the bottom edge intersect, when it's supposed to be the end of the shape.


Now, I'm going to hit you with my biggest gripe ever that every beginning artist tends to do, for some reason. I have to emphasize this, just so our brethren do not do this (don't worry, I did it once or twice too in the very very beginning)

Please, for the love of our serpent, do NOT do the following:

NEVER-EVER.jpg


"ThtHtHtHAt'S ReaLLY GoOooOOD!" - All the peers you showed your copy/traced drawing to, who most likely don't know anything about art.

Despite it not being a precise 1:1 copy, you can still see the appalling lack of technique in the lines; 99% of the time this is a beginner copying something else, as this always results from a lack of knowledge and real practice of fundamentals. Left is original, right is imitated.

These kinds of lines are sometimes called "chicken scratches", or I personally call it chicken feet syndrome. It's when, as a result of no knowledge of line technique, instead of drawing normal strokes, you create many, short, scratchy lines, resulting in jagged, unbalanced, and "hairy" lineart. You might have to right click the image and open it in a new tab to see what I mean. It's especially visible in the hair and headset, here.

This is the hallmark of an early novice who simply just copies after a drawing. Some people seem to do it to "learn", but there are much, much stronger methods to understand how to observe and construct, rather than merely copy something one sees. Such understanding is obtained through proper incorporation of true fundamentals, as is the pure core of this entire thread.

NEVER. EEEEVER. EEEE NNENNNNENENE NEEEEVER DO this, I WILL find you!!

Conducting this error on an original, non-copied piece is simply an occasion of unawareness, though. We're all here to learn, and I'm here to tell you. Let's continue!


Awareness Point #2 - Excessive Ambition


This might be an interesting one, and kind of addresses a hypothetical circumstance I hinted at in the beginning of this post.

When we're beginners (or, actually, this can happen at any level), we tend to want to draw the biggest, coolest scenes that we're capable of. However, that's the whole deal; our own capability. The scenes that we are able to visualize in our minds, will not exactly look the same as when we draw it in front of us. Hell, even magick doesn't always come out the way we might've expected, lol.

When it comes to art, we, too, must know our own level of ability. If you have the perfect idea of how a scene or character looks like, but you don't possess the actual expertise to depict it enough to "do it justice", you may face severe self-discouragement and difficulties during the illustrative process. The reason this occurs, is because you know precisely how you want it to look like, but your absence of appropriate experience prevents you from forming the idea right before yourself.

It makes you feel worthless, incapable, like you hold no potential, and will likely result in you abandoning canvas after canvas, because nothing you ever draw ends up the way you wanted. You will inevitably encounter one or more of this type of artist when you start building relationships with other illustrators, lol.

However, you, yourself shall not become one such individual! One method to assist in preventing this, is to simply expect nothing. Possess the desire to illustrate your desired idea, but hold no particular image as to how you precisely wish for it to look. Be open to developments as you go, and ideas that enter your mind, insofar they properly contribute to the scene and you can manage them.

In fact, this is where gathering and observing many reference photographs should aid you in constructing a general outlook of the pose, scene, and any other elements.

DO NOT use inspirational art from superior illustrators as reference here. It will likely reinforce the sense of incapability and auto-denigration addressed earlier, in that you will realize your own art will not come out at the same level of quality as what you're looking at. Consuming it when you're not drawing is beneficial for (sub)conscious input, though.

Everyone wishes to draw their ideas at the utmost level of their ability, but as a novice, one simply does not possess the amount of experience that professionals do, nor has one yet conducted the immense amount of work it had taken for an expert to reach their present skill level.

Furthermore, I do not suggest attempting techniques and calculations that are evidently too advanced, such as 3-point perspective in birds-eye view of fantasy staircase labyrinths, or some other wind-warping stuff. I'm personally acquainted with one professional who has been drawing backgrounds for over 10 years, and STILL takes 30 hours per piece, given every single one possesses otherworldly quality. One of my other inspirations also takes about 30 hours for a single character drawing, and these are all professionals.

Although it is of vital importance to challenge oneself often, one must gauge their own level of ability as to not find oneself way in over their head. If you wish, you may set a limit of a few hours for yourself, likely 3-4 hours total for a piece is what I'd recommend for novices. This should not only encourage you to draw more resourcefully with your current knowledge, but also develop gradual speed and familiarity with the illustrative process, overall.

I know there are times we spend 20 hours on a drawing and think it's incredibly good due to the amount of effort we expended, but when we improve after a few months, only then do we see how bad it actually was. This is what happens when you overdo an illustration beyond what you were capable of. Past a certain point, you can't improve it even if you spend longer; it's like diminishing returns. I think I mentioned earlier in this thread how I once felt super good about my very first sketch I had spent 6 hours on, but it was actually complete trash.

Let us spend our effort wisely.


Awareness Point #3 - The Bigger Picture (literally)


Tell me, how many times have you drawn super zoomed into one particular area of a character, completely satisfied with that part, only to reach the hand and completely suck for the next 2 hours and ultimately stop? NEVER AGAIN!

What happens when we draw zoomed in from the start, is we begin to hyper-focus on merely one section of a larger scene, unless you're seriously conducting isolated practices like hands only, or feet only. Similarly to figure drawing mentioned in the original post of fundamentals, we must try to capture the general scene before committing to focusing onto a particular area of the body.

What we can do, and this may take some familiarization, is to draw only at full view of the canvas. This shouldn't be a problem for traditional artists, because the paper is all that's there, but in digital art we can manipulate the canvas size over and over, and zoom in as far as 3,200% or so, at least on Clip Studio Paint. I have an upper-intermediate level pupil who often hits Ctrl+Z at least 10 times, just to draw a tiny line that isn't even visible once you look at the full picture. Please don't become like this!

For example, consciously try to fit the entirety of the pose, scene, etc. into what you can see in full view, at 100% visibility. There should be a magnifying glass icon near the Navigator of whatever illustration software you're using to see the %, or at least the entire canvas should fit to screen.

Squint your eyes to check if the proportions, composition, colors, values, lighting and shading, and core fundamentals are all visibly distinguishable, before you sink into the whirlpool of adding details. Later on, when you've established the full-scene composition, you can crop the canvas to frame a particular part of the character, and work on completing the illustration from there.

Another important thing to note, is that if you were to work on tiny details while zoomed in, chances are no one will even notice such small additions upon normally viewing the full illustration at 100% (let alone even further away, like 75%, 50%), on any platform you post. Even less people have the attention span to even hang and click to check out your work in full resolution, anyway, so you MUST be aware of how it looks from "far away", at a small resolution.

Here is an example of one illustration that I would consider very clear, and visually comprehensible even at a small, zoomed out view.

The initial dynamic pose, framing of the character, the contrast of black and white against a pale green background, the strongly saturated blue/yellow/red band-aids as accent colors, and perspective of the foreshortened chains directing the focal point towards the face, MmMMWPHFHF, that's the SHIT!! And this is all visible at this size.

Screenshot-2023-07-27-at-14-31-46-Popular-illustrations-and-manga-tagged-pixiv.png


Full image
(and it's STILL not the original resolution, because you have to be logged in!! Damn!)


The coloring, lighting, shading, dynamism, etc. of an illustration have to be able to catch one's attention at the size of an embedded Twitter image, viewed from the Timeline, or from the browsing section of any platform where art is visible at thumbnail size. Make that shit stand out to all those idly grazing cows on their phones in the train. Save Japan with me, please, lmao.

The bottom line is, make sure all parts of the illustration are initially visible and distinguishable at a glance, from far away, and do not waste time on small details before the former is fully established.

Particular fundamentals such as color theory and lighting/shading alone will help immensely with this. Though, as always, try to incorporate all fundamentals in conjunction with one another; you WILL feel it, and both regular people and other artists WILL be awestruck with the sense of professionalism in your art.

For manga artists, where coloring is not involved, you can still consciously calculate where to utilize contrast between black and white to create eye-catching illustrations, along with other special techniques to compensate for the absence of color, but that's a specific sector of art with unique methods. I could delve into this in a new post in the future, if anyone wishes to ask me here regarding this, as it's especially my territory.


Awareness Point #4 - Visual Reset


Working on an illustration for hours on end on the same day comes as a result of great passion, and displays a drive to pursue that which you love. You will certainly feel very good about your efforts as a result of such levels of energetic expenditure, and a situation as such may occur:

"Finally aced the face after much research, practice, and tutorials! Love the way it looks after 4 or so hours."


WHOOPS-part-1.png


"Time to move onto the hands! Alright, this looks great for now. I'mma post it as it is."

WHOOPS-part2.png


*Two days and several users' comments addressing the anatomy of the hand/wrist later*
"OH MY gOD, FUCK!"

(Full image, by the way)

If you're working on an illustration for (many) consecutive hours, you will develop something akin to tunnel vision, in the sense that you will not see what is wrong with your drawing until you step away for a while, and return to it after a day or so.

Although it varies between levels of expertise and reflective ability, I strongly suggest achieving ample hours of deep sleep to reset before you tackle your illustration again with fresh view. This should assist you in your own ability to reflect, but beyond that, you must still receive the feedback of other artists of similar, or preferably higher level.

One safe habit I strongly recommend, is if you're drawing into the night and finishing up a drawing before bed, DO NOT publish it when you had just "finished" it. Send it to your illustrator peers for them to check, go to sleep, check their responses the next day and adjust any glaring mistakes noted by them as much as you can.

Although I had chosen an example of intermediate level art here, this particular occurrence actually happens to illustrators of higher calibres, too, including professionals. Look at Snowstorm Sivir from League of Legends, for example. Have you seen the waist in that? Taffy rib cage or something. That shit went through the art development and publishing phases with teams of appointed experts?


The following presents a case where, despite several fundamentals present, and particularly coloring and shading executed at professional level... one error in another fundamental (proportions) can negatively impact the impression of the entire piece.

OH-SHIT.png

Source

One's illustration could possess beautiful atmosphere, lighting and shading, coloring, composition, etc, but if the hand is that small in comparison to the head, and the thoracic cage and waist continue that far down, it can become jarring to the rest of the scene. Unless one does not notice, but they will likely not unsee it, once they do.

It seems to happen in all sorts of areas of life, where we had thought something was fine until we return to it in the future, only for us to cringe at it even though we thought it was completely fine at the time. Does that sound familiar? Sure as hell does to me.

Within the context of art, however, this is why it is of crucial importance to display your works to other artists. NOT your friends and family, who will feed you the canned classic of "ThAt's reALLLy GoOoOd", but other illustrators, or otherwise observant and eloquently constructive individuals, who may be able to point out things that might've eluded you.

Even lower level illustrators may be able to point out flaws in one's art, given they do not excessively nitpick after only watching a couple of Youtube videos, but that's a different topic.

You as the creator, see something much different than those who view it as an audience. You must understand how your audience perceives and interprets your creations, in order to not only obtain insight of others' points of view that might have differed from your own, but also to learn how what you put into your work affects those who observe it.


Now, there is a bit of a crazy phenomenon that might occur, even if you've shown your illustration to a number of different people who all say it looks fine. To relate a personal experience, there was a time when I had drawn all day and even incorporated my earlier advise of taking some time away from the drawing to refresh vision. It was a drawing that possessed strong focus on the character's hand, but there was other stuff going on in the illustration, too, so any errors were easily overlooked. Everybody loved it without any form of critique.

A few months later, I receive a comment from one of my friends, "....Six fingers O_O". MONTHS later! Neither I, nor several hundred others up until that point, seemed to have noticed the fact that the character's hand I drew had six goddamn fingers. It was definitely not intentional, and I have no clue how the hell I missed it, or no one had told me, let alone for that long!

This simply goes to show that even if you have your art evaluated and checked by others, there is always a degree of error that you must both discover, and resolve on your own. It just happens to be that a strongly effective way of receiving feedback, is to present your art to those who understand how to provide comprehensible, ethic forms of feedback.


Conclusion


That seems to be all that I can currently think of, regarding points of awareness that we can immediately (or gradually, for some) incorporate in order to see rapid evolution in our art, and how we and others perceive it! As usual, I expect myself to have forgotten a few more important things here and there, but this should enlighten our developing artists a little more, for the time being.

Additionally, if you notice I may have sounded slightly more critical or abrasive this time, it may be because this particular post already assumes the reader has conducted an ample extent of practice with all other material previously provided in this thread. As we enter higher levels of art, I expect more of you! Though, I will try to choose softer, more euphemistic forms of expression if the way I articulated myself this time turns out to become an obstacle to one's learning.

I shall await further comments and inquiries from anyone here at any skill level regarding art. Well, then, until next month, when the matter of me meeting piercing deadlines has been resolved.
 
Wow, I am so happy to see other fellow ss teaching the fundamentals of the art. I myself have been enjoying reading through this topic as it is so well written and constructed.
Recently I started to learn how to draw again, I bought art courses and seems like I've been catching it up pretty fast. I have always been drawn to the talents of drawing because imaginations are endless. As a kid I loved to draw from time to time, but never really thought about how to actually learn it. Now I am few months in my academy progress and I came so far, seems like I learn it all so well and quick, something that is not always imaginable from learning to draw as it takes insane amount of time and patience.

I don't know, maybe it feels like I have it in me to become an artist in future. I cannot read natal chart yet and I know it would help a LOT in understanding my strong and my weak sides but I feel like art is something for me.

I will keep an eye on this topic and thank you for writing this as this is well written and covers all fundamentals of how to become an artist. :D
 
Greetings, fellow artists and those aspiring.

After 6 months or so of ridiculous life circumstances, I have now returned to deliver to you the final, conclusive update of this thread! That doesn't mean I will never provide art advice again, or that I will not create more threads in this sub-forum, however; it simply means that I have exhausted almost everything there is to know for any beginning artist to establish their foundation as an illustrator (this is also why it had taken so long for me to come up with things left to teach everybody here). Any higher information I possess wouldn't be for novices anymore, and would not suit the intended purpose of this particular thread.

With consistency and perseverance, as well as discipline overall, all of the information I have relayed in this thread, will suffice in bringing you to intermediate level at the least, easily advanced. You're basically starting the game with a level 50 weapon and hidden skills. You're very welcome.

With that said, the remaining subjects I would like to convey here, consist of advice for both the actual act of drawing, but also important paths of thought that an artist must possess in order to grow, or simply not destroy themselves. Our ability is a power. We must cultivate it, manage it, seek to develop it, or it will wither. Though, on the way we have some struggles or questions in our approach towards some of the steps we take, and this is among the things I wish to address today. Many of these struggles and pains occur with advanced artists, too, so these are purely psychological factors that we all face regardless of our level of expertise.

Here are some concerns that I have heard artists voice out along the eternal path:


#1 "If I wish to make a living out of art, must I really turn to drawing NSFW/smut for people?"


You could, but you'd literally lose your soul. Look at sakimichan. Despite EXTREME skill for over 10 years, at one point she became really popular, and now all she draws is bland smut. If you were there back then, you would have actually witnessed the turning point; it was disheartening, to say the least.

The reason as to why NSFW or lewd stuff isn't something I recommend over the long term, is because art will quickly begin to feel like a service for others, as opposed to the creative act of expressing the contents of your heart and mind in all its beauty. It robs art of all that fills it with soul, this way.

I knew of several artists, from highly advanced to somewhat beginning, who underwent extreme lethargy and depressive states as a result of their painstakingly crafted ability being turned to just draw sex for normies, even though they may have gained a large amount of money from the commissions. Remember, when you're drawing commissions for other people, you're not drawing for yourself. Art is literally the idea of self-expression, and that goes out the window when you're exclusively drawing for others, with no time or focus on yourself.

I believe the only exception to this is if you are astrologically predisposed to connect sexual elements to art and how you express yourself, as well as if you're set to make money from the general populace. I'm not about to crack my starry details to everyone but I can confirm this is applicable to me. The reason this works is because artists like this already enjoy drawing such content, anyway, and do not necessarily mind drawing something like that for somebody.

And even then I don't really recommend it. You'd be appalled by the shit that people are into, and that they ask you to draw. My god, I still get shivers. Material gain means nothing if it comes at the cost of your psychological and emotional well-being, or worse, your passion. You do not need to draw NSFW for people to commission you, or for projects to hire you; you require plain-cut expertise.

If you seek to make a stable living out of drawing, but you are not at least upper-advanced with an established portfolio, I dearly suggest you develop your artistic skills on the side as a long-term goal, while working a regular job for the financial security. With consistency and discipline, and all the previous posts in this thread (and being an SS), you will develop the kind of artistic expertise that people will be greatly interested in, very quickly down the line.

Special advice for us SS, you can and definitely should utilize runes, money workings, and planetary energies, to facilitate opportunity and success in your artistic endeavors. Please thank Satan and his Demons for this knowledge, not me.


#2 - "Do I need to go to art school in order to become a professional artist?"


Hell, no. In fact, you absolutely should not go to art school. You don't even need a degree to be hired. The only thing employers care about is your actual skill level, as displayed in your portfolio. In fact, if there were 2 people with similar skill level, and one of them had attended art school, but the other didn't, they would actually hire the person without the degree, because of the potential they possess.

Also, if I recall correctly, less than 15% of all art graduates in the US, are actually employed in a field that utilizes their art skills. Do you know what that means? 85% of them do not even use the stuff they learned in art school, in their current job, and even less make it to graduation to begin with. It is essentially worthless and incredibly expensive, often causing victims to live under life-long debts for a useless education.

To relate a personal experience, I attended a manga school. It was a costly penny. NONE of the educational material I consumed in there I actually use today. The manga creation processes such as panel layout, flow, pacing, thumbnails, etc, everything, would you like to know where I learned them from? ...4 or 5 YouTube videos. LMAO. Eat my ass, manga class.

Essentially, what you need is a structural plan for what you know you must work on in order to improve. Educational centers establish this in something called a curriculum, or a program, but they also teach you a bunch of shit that you don't need really to know, and that doesn't contribute to your personal goals. However, if you understand that you must for example work on your fundamentals, such as figure drawing and anatomical knowledge, you already know what you have to do, and you go to increase your knowledge in the addressed subjects. It's like problem solving. You acknowledge a lack of strength in a particular area, and do what you must in order to alleviate your flaws therein. It does NOT cost any money except your electricity bill and internet subscription.

There are many professional illustrators who have never attended art school, or anything resembling such.


#3 -
Try to disconnect your emotions from your artwork a little bit.



This mainly addresses a point I have observed a lot in artists, often times of novice level, sometimes higher. It particularly ties into the ability to accept any kind of opinion or input from other people, even perceived criticism.

I wholly acknowledge that the concept of art in itself, is the expression of our emotions, and that it possesses a strong connection to our feelings, our personal imagination, and the wonders we bring about through our creativity. However, the inability to separate one's personal, emotional connection when it comes to input, often leads to a sensation of pain or hurt as a result of aforementioned emotional affiliation. The reason this occurs is because it feels like something of sentimental value is tarnished by another's words. or perception of that which you so dearly crafted.

An artist must understand that their art is not them; it is merely an extension, or a product of their own self. Therefore, someone's critique is not criticism upon your misdeeds, or failures; it is conveying where that person believes you may improve from some revision, essentially helping to provide awareness so that you may shape yourself into the artist you wish to be.

One must also be aware that not everyone is particularly eloquent enough to express their thoughts or critique in a way that sounds like music to the ears. "That hand is weird lol" can just be transmuted into "I'm not sure if it's just me, but the angle of the fingers seem slightly unnatural", and the idea is the same. Even if they suck at elaborating, e.g., "idk lol it just is", at least you can gather that there's something off about it, and you could show it to another person. Remember, art is sensed and felt first-hand, so many people don't always know how to word or pinpoint why something feels strange to them. This accounts for the opposite as well, in that people might not know how to describe why a drawing is so fantastic and beautiful.

Personally, I really wish people would have given me critique back when I started. I wish I had someone like myself right now, back when I was down there. My close friends and whatever would call my drawings good, and my sense of ability was so inflated that I actually thought I was good when I was trash, in reality. No fundamentals, no nothing. Then, people who I didn't know started telling me my art was horrible, shit, etc,.

This wasn't even critique, because they weren't trying to help or anything; it was actual bashing. It made me extremely angry at everyone and critique was the enemy for me for a while, because this is what I thought it meant. It was only after I developed myself with other novices of my level at the time, that we provided constructive advice to one another, and I learned how to really take critique as an indispensable factor towards my advancement and growth.

As long as someone tries to explain why it feels off, and how you might be able to fix it, you can learn something from others' perspective of your drawings. As artists, and as the person who creates the illustration over the course of hours, we see something different than someone who views it once. We also forget things and can have tunnel vision, as mentioned earlier in this thread, so we truly do require the perspective of others in order to spot things we might have missed.


#4 - Never forget why you began.


An important psychological aspect of discipline, is understanding the reason as to why you do what you've committed yourself to. Why is it important? This is one of the ways to work around a so-called art block, because it reminds you of what causes you to continue; the long-term goal you set for yourself.

Anything you do, you can choose to perform superficially, or make it an actual path in life. Do you do art because you just feel like it sometimes, and don't necessarily intend to become a professional? That's cool too, but that's not most of us, and probably not you if you've read this entire thread until here. You can cook food occasionally, or you can seriously set yourself to becoming an incredibly skilled chef. You can enjoy doing baseball once a year, or actually strive to understand all the fundamental aspects of it in order to increase your performance, according to your goals. Do you understand what I mean?

Every now and then, we become a little invested in areas of art that cause us to forget why we decided to dedicate ourselves to this path. There'll be hard times like when you just can't manage to draw anatomy properly, or your perspective sucks, or your lines are wobbly. Think back and remember, you might be somebody who feels an elated sense of freedom in bringing your imagination to life, and that's why you started drawing. Remind yourself of that passion that filled you at the beginning, and understand that every step you take contributes to the development of your ability, and your desire to depict your imagination in the form of art as beautifully and soulfully as possible. It all comes together to realize your passion and bring it to life.

There are many different reasons as to why normal people start drawing. A surprising amount of artists draw because they want to be praised by people, in Japan at least. Or people start drawing because they want to draw sexy stuff. I really don't agree with either one, personally, but what do you expect of regular people with lack of inner reflection and dirty chakras? Nevertheless, there are plenty of respectable people with actual, admirable reasons who have created gorgeous forms of art, be it in the form of illustrations, manga, music, anything. The type from which you truly feel the creator's passion and soul resonate.



Show this world the potential of a Spiritual Satanist and the qualities of our souls, through the medium of art.

I hope this thread proves beneficial to your learning, and that it contributes to your artistic journey.
Hail Satan.
 
I hope this thread proves beneficial to your learning, and that it contributes to your artistic journey.
Hail Satan.
Hello Mook, thank you for providing this material for us, I just realized how much you posted here since than. This is definitely going into the library.
After 6 months or so of ridiculous life circumstances
I hope you are doing better now.

Also, would you mind sharing some of your artwork?
 
Hello Mook, thank you for providing this material for us, I just realized how much you posted here since than. This is definitely going into the library.

I hope you are doing better now.

Also, would you mind sharing some of your artwork?

Thank you again, Afodo. I do hope that this appears in the library for my contribution to be immortalized.
I am indeed doing better now; I was working on releasing books and all sorts of hectic stuff.
I would love to, but since I have a very unique art style, I'll have to wait to post my art someday, when revealing ourselves publicly will not ruin our careers and figures. Wink

Great post!
What would you recommend are best platforms to earn money from as a freelance if I don't want to work on commissions?
Twitter. Otherwise, Discord art communities where people are looking for artists to work on their projects. I think Instagram works very well, too.
Generally any place where people can see all your art in one place, or having a link to such.
But you have to have established a bit of a gallery or portfolio already, before anyone is able to consider you.
 
Thank you again, Afodo. I do hope that this appears in the library for my contribution to be immortalized.
I am indeed doing better now; I was working on releasing books and all sorts of hectic stuff.
I would love to, but since I have a very unique art style, I'll have to wait to post my art someday, when revealing ourselves publicly will not ruin our careers and figures. Wink


Twitter. Otherwise, Discord art communities where people are looking for artists to work on their projects. I think Instagram works very well, too.
Generally any place where people can see all your art in one place, or having a link to such.
But you have to have established a bit of a gallery or portfolio already, before anyone is able to consider you.
Hey, Mook. Have you ever heard of the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain"? What do you think of it?

I was amazed when I tried one of the exercises. I'm one of those people who can barely draw a stick figure. But the exercise the author has you do involves drawing a portrait by Picasso, upside down. And when I did it, it came out just like the real thing. I never imagined I could do that.

She came up with all sorts of exercises to help loosen the grip of the left brain and let the right brain take the reigns when drawing, which is the whole theme of the book.

I never finished the book, but seeing your thread made me think of it again.

Thanks for sharing your perspective and knowledge as an artist.
 
Hey, Mook. Have you ever heard of the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain"? What do you think of it?

I was amazed when I tried one of the exercises. I'm one of those people who can barely draw a stick figure. But the exercise the author has you do involves drawing a portrait by Picasso, upside down. And when I did it, it came out just like the real thing. I never imagined I could do that.

She came up with all sorts of exercises to help loosen the grip of the left brain and let the right brain take the reigns when drawing, which is the whole theme of the book.

I never finished the book, but seeing your thread made me think of it again.

Thanks for sharing your perspective and knowledge as an artist.
Hey existentialcrisis, thank you for the recommendation. I have not heard of that book, but it sounds like it possesses some incredible methods.

Despite not having read the book myself, what you describe sounds somewhat similar to a procedure I forged for myself, which consists of partially letting go of the logical left side of the brain, in order for the creative subconscious to influence the illustration. This allows for the creative, emotional and intuitive right side of the brain, to permeate your art with qualities and discoveries previously unbeknownst to yourself.

Interestingly, even if you may have possessed an idea of what you'd like to draw beforehand, if you allow the right side of the brain to participate in the creative process, you will almost always experience soulful discoveries by accident, like a surprisingly good color combination, the unexpected expressiveness of the pose, a particularly beautiful design choice, anything.

This is usually the deeper meaning behind when artists advise you to not worry about things during the creative process, and just let things flow. That element of flow is the creative force of the subconscious coming out into your illustration, leading you to new discoveries, surprisingly comparable to how we work a pendulum, actually.

We usually apply logic for the calculative aspects and precision, like accurate anatomy, proportions and perspective, but in the end, art is most definitely 80% right-brained. An emotionally, intuitively led illustration will almost always magically feel more appealing than a stiff drawing straining for accuracy, regardless of experience level.
Though, as always, there must be some level of structure and balance between the two, so that it remains sufficiently convincing.

Thank you for expressing your thoughts and asking me for my own input. I hope this thread in general helps you in your learning and allows you to advance.
 
Greetings, everyone! Over the past few weeks of working my ass off with my own illustrative abilities for 8-10 hours every day (this tends to happen when crunching deadlines are involved), I have come to a fantastic realization.

This thread is called "How to Draw", NOT just the Fundamentals of Art! Therefore, on top of the previous knowledge I have shared here, I will provide some helpful forms of information that will assist you more rather in the psychological side of art, that which precedes the initial physical act of pushing the pencil or brush, before you even hit the canvas at all.

The information below, too, will assist you in "How to Draw", beyond solely the fundamentals. With many of these, you can improve the quality of your art just by possessing the sole awareness of certain points, essentially providing solutions you can apply instantly.

We, as artists, physically(?) create that which we forge from our thoughts and emotions, i.e., subconscious, i.e., soul, in order to express our feelings to both ourselves and the world, and essentially influence the minds (and souls) of others affected by what we display. What we draw is, to a major extent, an extension of how we think and feel.

However, one of the issues is, no one in the beginning possesses the ability to draw things the way they hoped or visualized in their minds, even if you have strong astral vision. Because, the arm and hand is the literal physical catalyst we use to draw a depiction of what is in our minds and hearts, and it's not exactly perfectly synchronized when one has just started. How many times have you had the sickest fight scene in your mind, only for the poses or expressions to look like shit? Or the maddest scenery ever, but you gave up at merely at the horizon line?

These are simply some of the results of disparity between the physical and psychological sides of art, even if you've familiarized yourself with all the fundamentals listed earlier on in this thread. I am going to address some of these blockages, as well as some recurring concepts that seem to spread often in art circles, and how to overcome various difficulties, hopefully allowing you to surpass the barriers of which artists normally struggle to discover the reasons behind.

Let us commence the destruction of our limits.


This part of the thread assumes you've read and preferably already performed some of the original fundamentals to an extent, already.


Awareness Point #1 - Lines

If you've ever seen someone copy a drawing, you will have seen this happen, guaranteed (or we did it ourselves in the beginning; I did, too).

iu

(Source: https://asakiriu.com/how-to-draw-a-line/)

Why does it feel like one's lines can sometimes feel wobbly, out of shape, and possess no direction, nor depth?

What happens here, is when an artist might not be aware of the concept of line technique. Line technique is a term that refers to the conscious awareness of how we stroke a line, that determines the smoothness, width, curvature, continuity and contour. On top of this, it also requires consistent repetition in order to seep the habit into our subconscious i.e., muscle memory.

There are different kinds of lines, and different ways to emphasize particular qualities to them. Lengthy singular strokes with a pressure that trails off towards the end can feel elegant, smooth, and generally more professional due to the confidence in the stability of the line.

This kind of awareness of strokes, in combination with line techniques such as line weight, line breaking, to add depth, emphasize roundness, etc., will provide immense assistance in the overall quality of your line art. You can see how the top part of the character's head possesses such depth, due to the outer lines at the tip breaking to suggest the origin point of the hair, as well as the beginning of the bangs. You'll see this same effect suggesting the seams of the sleeves on the character's uniform.

An easy rule to go by, is thicker lines = more emphasis, or closer to viewer (when perspective is applied). Try to go over the lines again and press harder to apply emphasis in any desired area. This is a technique called line weighting, and erasing it a little to create roundness or lightness, is called line breaking.

eef4e27f0bbc8c5b25b7e0b024f86ae3.jpg

(Source: https://oekaki-zukan.com/articles/19811

The above provides another example, though, generally, it's actually the upside-down that happens for hair, as the tips of hair strands (especially the bangs) are often depicted with such an effect to frame the eyes, or suggest lightness at the ends.

At the same time, the left example is one depicting the absence of such techniques instead, resulting in wobbly, unstable lines. There's also the fact that the lines at the bottom edge intersect, when it's supposed to be the end of the shape.


Now, I'm going to hit you with my biggest gripe ever that every beginning artist tends to do, for some reason. I have to emphasize this, just so our brethren do not do this (don't worry, I did it once or twice too in the very very beginning)

Please, for the love of our serpent, do NOT do the following:

NEVER-EVER.jpg


"ThtHtHtHAt'S ReaLLY GoOooOOD!" - All the peers you showed your copy/traced drawing to, who most likely don't know anything about art.

Despite it not being a precise 1:1 copy, you can still see the appalling lack of technique in the lines; 99% of the time this is a beginner copying something else, as this always results from a lack of knowledge and real practice of fundamentals. Left is original, right is imitated.

These kinds of lines are sometimes called "chicken scratches", or I personally call it chicken feet syndrome. It's when, as a result of no knowledge of line technique, instead of drawing normal strokes, you create many, short, scratchy lines, resulting in jagged, unbalanced, and "hairy" lineart. You might have to right click the image and open it in a new tab to see what I mean. It's especially visible in the hair and headset, here.

This is the hallmark of an early novice who simply just copies after a drawing. Some people seem to do it to "learn", but there are much, much stronger methods to understand how to observe and construct, rather than merely copy something one sees. Such understanding is obtained through proper incorporation of true fundamentals, as is the pure core of this entire thread.

NEVER. EEEEVER. EEEE NNENNNNENENE NEEEEVER DO this, I WILL find you!!

Conducting this error on an original, non-copied piece is simply an occasion of unawareness, though. We're all here to learn, and I'm here to tell you. Let's continue!


Awareness Point #2 - Excessive Ambition


This might be an interesting one, and kind of addresses a hypothetical circumstance I hinted at in the beginning of this post.

When we're beginners (or, actually, this can happen at any level), we tend to want to draw the biggest, coolest scenes that we're capable of. However, that's the whole deal; our own capability. The scenes that we are able to visualize in our minds, will not exactly look the same as when we draw it in front of us. Hell, even magick doesn't always come out the way we might've expected, lol.

When it comes to art, we, too, must know our own level of ability. If you have the perfect idea of how a scene or character looks like, but you don't possess the actual expertise to depict it enough to "do it justice", you may face severe self-discouragement and difficulties during the illustrative process. The reason this occurs, is because you know precisely how you want it to look like, but your absence of appropriate experience prevents you from forming the idea right before yourself.

It makes you feel worthless, incapable, like you hold no potential, and will likely result in you abandoning canvas after canvas, because nothing you ever draw ends up the way you wanted. You will inevitably encounter one or more of this type of artist when you start building relationships with other illustrators, lol.

However, you, yourself shall not become one such individual! One method to assist in preventing this, is to simply expect nothing. Possess the desire to illustrate your desired idea, but hold no particular image as to how you precisely wish for it to look. Be open to developments as you go, and ideas that enter your mind, insofar they properly contribute to the scene and you can manage them.

In fact, this is where gathering and observing many reference photographs should aid you in constructing a general outlook of the pose, scene, and any other elements.

DO NOT use inspirational art from superior illustrators as reference here. It will likely reinforce the sense of incapability and auto-denigration addressed earlier, in that you will realize your own art will not come out at the same level of quality as what you're looking at. Consuming it when you're not drawing is beneficial for (sub)conscious input, though.

Everyone wishes to draw their ideas at the utmost level of their ability, but as a novice, one simply does not possess the amount of experience that professionals do, nor has one yet conducted the immense amount of work it had taken for an expert to reach their present skill level.

Furthermore, I do not suggest attempting techniques and calculations that are evidently too advanced, such as 3-point perspective in birds-eye view of fantasy staircase labyrinths, or some other wind-warping stuff. I'm personally acquainted with one professional who has been drawing backgrounds for over 10 years, and STILL takes 30 hours per piece, given every single one possesses otherworldly quality. One of my other inspirations also takes about 30 hours for a single character drawing, and these are all professionals.

Although it is of vital importance to challenge oneself often, one must gauge their own level of ability as to not find oneself way in over their head. If you wish, you may set a limit of a few hours for yourself, likely 3-4 hours total for a piece is what I'd recommend for novices. This should not only encourage you to draw more resourcefully with your current knowledge, but also develop gradual speed and familiarity with the illustrative process, overall.

I know there are times we spend 20 hours on a drawing and think it's incredibly good due to the amount of effort we expended, but when we improve after a few months, only then do we see how bad it actually was. This is what happens when you overdo an illustration beyond what you were capable of. Past a certain point, you can't improve it even if you spend longer; it's like diminishing returns. I think I mentioned earlier in this thread how I once felt super good about my very first sketch I had spent 6 hours on, but it was actually complete trash.

Let us spend our effort wisely.


Awareness Point #3 - The Bigger Picture (literally)


Tell me, how many times have you drawn super zoomed into one particular area of a character, completely satisfied with that part, only to reach the hand and completely suck for the next 2 hours and ultimately stop? NEVER AGAIN!

What happens when we draw zoomed in from the start, is we begin to hyper-focus on merely one section of a larger scene, unless you're seriously conducting isolated practices like hands only, or feet only. Similarly to figure drawing mentioned in the original post of fundamentals, we must try to capture the general scene before committing to focusing onto a particular area of the body.

What we can do, and this may take some familiarization, is to draw only at full view of the canvas. This shouldn't be a problem for traditional artists, because the paper is all that's there, but in digital art we can manipulate the canvas size over and over, and zoom in as far as 3,200% or so, at least on Clip Studio Paint. I have an upper-intermediate level pupil who often hits Ctrl+Z at least 10 times, just to draw a tiny line that isn't even visible once you look at the full picture. Please don't become like this!

For example, consciously try to fit the entirety of the pose, scene, etc. into what you can see in full view, at 100% visibility. There should be a magnifying glass icon near the Navigator of whatever illustration software you're using to see the %, or at least the entire canvas should fit to screen.

Squint your eyes to check if the proportions, composition, colors, values, lighting and shading, and core fundamentals are all visibly distinguishable, before you sink into the whirlpool of adding details. Later on, when you've established the full-scene composition, you can crop the canvas to frame a particular part of the character, and work on completing the illustration from there.

Another important thing to note, is that if you were to work on tiny details while zoomed in, chances are no one will even notice such small additions upon normally viewing the full illustration at 100% (let alone even further away, like 75%, 50%), on any platform you post. Even less people have the attention span to even hang and click to check out your work in full resolution, anyway, so you MUST be aware of how it looks from "far away", at a small resolution.

Here is an example of one illustration that I would consider very clear, and visually comprehensible even at a small, zoomed out view.

The initial dynamic pose, framing of the character, the contrast of black and white against a pale green background, the strongly saturated blue/yellow/red band-aids as accent colors, and perspective of the foreshortened chains directing the focal point towards the face, MmMMWPHFHF, that's the SHIT!! And this is all visible at this size.

Screenshot-2023-07-27-at-14-31-46-Popular-illustrations-and-manga-tagged-pixiv.png


Full image (and it's STILL not the original resolution, because you have to be logged in!! Damn!)


The coloring, lighting, shading, dynamism, etc. of an illustration have to be able to catch one's attention at the size of an embedded Twitter image, viewed from the Timeline, or from the browsing section of any platform where art is visible at thumbnail size. Make that shit stand out to all those idly grazing cows on their phones in the train. Save Japan with me, please, lmao.

The bottom line is, make sure all parts of the illustration are initially visible and distinguishable at a glance, from far away, and do not waste time on small details before the former is fully established.

Particular fundamentals such as color theory and lighting/shading alone will help immensely with this. Though, as always, try to incorporate all fundamentals in conjunction with one another; you WILL feel it, and both regular people and other artists WILL be awestruck with the sense of professionalism in your art.

For manga artists, where coloring is not involved, you can still consciously calculate where to utilize contrast between black and white to create eye-catching illustrations, along with other special techniques to compensate for the absence of color, but that's a specific sector of art with unique methods. I could delve into this in a new post in the future, if anyone wishes to ask me here regarding this, as it's especially my territory.


Awareness Point #4 - Visual Reset


Working on an illustration for hours on end on the same day comes as a result of great passion, and displays a drive to pursue that which you love. You will certainly feel very good about your efforts as a result of such levels of energetic expenditure, and a situation as such may occur:

"Finally aced the face after much research, practice, and tutorials! Love the way it looks after 4 or so hours."

WHOOPS-part-1.png


"Time to move onto the hands! Alright, this looks great for now. I'mma post it as it is."

WHOOPS-part2.png


*Two days and several users' comments addressing the anatomy of the hand/wrist later*
"OH MY gOD, FUCK!"

(Full image, by the way)

If you're working on an illustration for (many) consecutive hours, you will develop something akin to tunnel vision, in the sense that you will not see what is wrong with your drawing until you step away for a while, and return to it after a day or so.

Although it varies between levels of expertise and reflective ability, I strongly suggest achieving ample hours of deep sleep to reset before you tackle your illustration again with fresh view. This should assist you in your own ability to reflect, but beyond that, you must still receive the feedback of other artists of similar, or preferably higher level.

One safe habit I strongly recommend, is if you're drawing into the night and finishing up a drawing before bed, DO NOT publish it when you had just "finished" it. Send it to your illustrator peers for them to check, go to sleep, check their responses the next day and adjust any glaring mistakes noted by them as much as you can.

Although I had chosen an example of intermediate level art here, this particular occurrence actually happens to illustrators of higher calibres, too, including professionals. Look at Snowstorm Sivir from League of Legends, for example. Have you seen the waist in that? Taffy rib cage or something. That shit went through the art development and publishing phases with teams of appointed experts?


The following presents a case where, despite several fundamentals present, and particularly coloring and shading executed at professional level... one error in another fundamental (proportions) can negatively impact the impression of the entire piece.

OH-SHIT.png

Source

One's illustration could possess beautiful atmosphere, lighting and shading, coloring, composition, etc, but if the hand is that small in comparison to the head, and the thoracic cage and waist continue that far down, it can become jarring to the rest of the scene. Unless one does not notice, but they will likely not unsee it, once they do.

It seems to happen in all sorts of areas of life, where we had thought something was fine until we return to it in the future, only for us to cringe at it even though we thought it was completely fine at the time. Does that sound familiar? Sure as hell does to me.

Within the context of art, however, this is why it is of crucial importance to display your works to other artists. NOT your friends and family, who will feed you the canned classic of "ThAt's reALLLy GoOoOd", but other illustrators, or otherwise observant and eloquently constructive individuals, who may be able to point out things that might've eluded you.

Even lower level illustrators may be able to point out flaws in one's art, given they do not excessively nitpick after only watching a couple of Youtube videos, but that's a different topic.

You as the creator, see something much different than those who view it as an audience. You must understand how your audience perceives and interprets your creations, in order to not only obtain insight of others' points of view that might have differed from your own, but also to learn how what you put into your work affects those who observe it.


Now, there is a bit of a crazy phenomenon that might occur, even if you've shown your illustration to a number of different people who all say it looks fine. To relate a personal experience, there was a time when I had drawn all day and even incorporated my earlier advise of taking some time away from the drawing to refresh vision. It was a drawing that possessed strong focus on the character's hand, but there was other stuff going on in the illustration, too, so any errors were easily overlooked. Everybody loved it without any form of critique.

A few months later, I receive a comment from one of my friends, "....Six fingers O_O". MONTHS later! Neither I, nor several hundred others up until that point, seemed to have noticed the fact that the character's hand I drew had six goddamn fingers. It was definitely not intentional, and I have no clue how the hell I missed it, or no one had told me, let alone for that long!

This simply goes to show that even if you have your art evaluated and checked by others, there is always a degree of error that you must both discover, and resolve on your own. It just happens to be that a strongly effective way of receiving feedback, is to present your art to those who understand how to provide comprehensible, ethic forms of feedback.


Conclusion


That seems to be all that I can currently think of, regarding points of awareness that we can immediately (or gradually, for some) incorporate in order to see rapid evolution in our art, and how we and others perceive it! As usual, I expect myself to have forgotten a few more important things here and there, but this should enlighten our developing artists a little more, for the time being.

Additionally, if you notice I may have sounded slightly more critical or abrasive this time, it may be because this particular post already assumes the reader has conducted an ample extent of practice with all other material previously provided in this thread. As we enter higher levels of art, I expect more of you! Though, I will try to choose softer, more euphemistic forms of expression if the way I articulated myself this time turns out to become an obstacle to one's learning.

I shall await further comments and inquiries from anyone here at any skill level regarding art. Well, then, until next month, when the matter of me meeting piercing deadlines has been resolved.
This is a very useful and beautiful post (y)
Thank you very much 😍
 

Al Jilwah: Chapter IV

"It is my desire that all my followers unite in a bond of unity, lest those who are without prevail against them." - Satan

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