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Batman Trompe L-oeil by Reton8

Posted Jan 30, '13 at 11:30pm

Reton8

Reton8

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http://i1287.photobucket.com/albums/a627/Reton8/AG%20Image%20Uploads/WhySoRealism1Resized.png?t=1359604954

Well, why so serious?

http://i1287.photobucket.com/albums/a627/Reton8/AG%20Image%20Uploads/WhySoRealism2Resized.png?t=1359604954

It's was an image I started for another thread and got carried away. I don't know if it's impressive, but it's not a photo. It's all hand done in GIMP with standard (stock) brushes.

The reference image I used from here.

And the font is by Nate Piekos.

This is how I accomplished the task.
http://i1287.photobucket.com/albums/a627/Reton8/AG%20Image%20Uploads/WhysoHowtoScaled.png?t=1359604874

(One note, I had my reference image underneath the layer I worked on in GIMP and I traced that reference image for the initial outline and other features. It took me nearly 15 hours, over two or so days, to complete.)

What do you think?

 

Posted Jan 30, '13 at 11:32pm

Reton8

Reton8

2,802 posts

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Here it is full size:

http://i1287.photobucket.com/albums/a627/Reton8/AG%20Image%20Uploads/WhysoFullSized.png?t=1359605362

 

Posted Jan 30, '13 at 11:51pm

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Strop

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That's incredible attention to detail and construction of the face. I'd like to read your process of colour selection for the face, that skin tone's superb, even if it's a recreation of another photo.

 

Posted Jan 31, '13 at 12:55am

Reton8

Reton8

2,802 posts

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That's incredible attention to detail and construction of the face. I'd like to read your process of colour selection for the face, that skin tone's superb, even if it's a recreation of another photo.


Okay, time to give away the secret (it will be less amazing now, haha, but...)
Obviously I didn't use the clone brush, what would be the point in that? But I did use the eye dropper to make my initial colour selection for the skin and lips. I believe I used the eye dropper only four times. Once for the mask colour, once for the skin, and twice for the lips.

Once I have the colour and shape (the initial grey blob) I use an overlay brush with colour set to black or white to do the shading. This might be the same as using the dodge and burn brushes. I'll do a rough estimate of the shading first then I will zoom in and start detailing.

In GIMP this is how the paintbrush parameters affect the way the brush works in overlay mode:
Brush Colour - Black: Pixels in the image darken (value is lowered equally across RGB) but hue remains nearly constant. Saturation tends to change a bit.

Brush Colour - White: Does the same as black but pixels in the image become lighte (value is increased).

Brush Colour - Any other: Depending on the value (RGB) of the color you select it will either lighten or darken the pixels in the image. Also, the pixels affect by the brush will begin to have their hue become more like the brush color with each successive click.

Brush Opacity - How strongly the effects of the brush will be applied in one click. I usually have this set low within 5 to 20.

I don't know if this is 100% accurate, but this seems correct. Would you know if dodge and burn do the same thing?

On to detailing. When I detail I'm using the healing brush, smudging, the paintbrush set to overlay, and rarely the blur brush. I zoom in on the picture, do work, zoom out, compare images, zoom in and compare images, do more work, and repeat. I have noticed that initial colour you start with before shading doesn't have to be too accurate, after I detail it tends to look correct. If the colors off you can always set the paintbrush to colour mode and go over certain areas of the image with a different colour. (I didn't do that with this picture.)

You also start to develop an eye for how pixels should look when you zoom in on a photo. The pixels form a mesh that flows. The value of a pixel may change from one area the image to another, but you tend to always see some sort of anti-aliasing (if that's the right term) around the pixels. They flow into each other.

The things is I have to reference another image. I can't barely draw anything without a reference. Also note that I had to keep everything the exact dimensions of the image I used. I couldn't make it look as good if I went of scale, well I might be able to make it look decent I did a pencil drawing of a portrait of myself once, using only a mirror, pencil, and paper. It wasn't too bad.

I have very little formal art training, so I always reference some image and just go off that I usually can't make many changes to the my creation from the reference or else it starts to look wrong.

So I still wonder, is it actually an impressive feat? Or just something anyone could do given they had enough time?
 

Posted Jan 31, '13 at 3:10am

Reton8

Reton8

2,802 posts

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I can't barely draw anything without a reference.

I can* barely draw anything without a reference
 

Posted Jan 31, '13 at 1:13pm

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Sounds as if you used mouse in gimp 2.6. That's what I used to do myself before I got a tablet, in fact, that's what I used to do in open canvas 1.0 (the free version). It was an arduous process... actually I have a touchpad example... this one from 2008... I think it took about 25 hours (it would take me maybe 1-2 with the tablet...)

So I still wonder, is it actually an impressive feat? Or just something anyone could do given they had enough time?


Given that the majority of patients I see can't even draw two intersecting pentagons (it really does their heads in), it's still impressive. Being able to replicate high levels of detail by grasping the way strokes (even digital) blend (that's what you were describing) indicates you can attain a technical mastery. But it's true that "talent" as an artist is generally only legitimised when you're able to create original works (unless you wish to remain an illustrator). And it's super hard at first but if you do want to get good at it, you have to start somewhere, provided you have the right motivation.

For me I always wanted to be able to express myself in as many ways possible, linguistically, artistically, musically, physically (which is why I write, draw, compose and dance etc.). Of those, I've only had significant formal training in music, and attended a few classes in creative writing because I sucked. But regardless of training, in order to express oneself, one has to be able to draw from original concepts and imagination, meaning visualisation, and that's bloody hard. I'm really struggling with the mecha pic I'm doing now because it's not something I'm used to visualising, even though I can visualise so many other things easily (after several years of study). In short, you will always use references in some way or another if you're seeking to learn, but you won't get much further without trying to draw without references.
 

Posted Jan 31, '13 at 3:31pm

Reton8

Reton8

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It was an arduous process... actually I have a touchpad example... this one from 2008... I think it took about 25 hours (it would take me maybe 1-2 with the tablet...)

A touchpad! That's amazing! I can't even surf the internet with a toucpad, but what makes the tablet so much faster than a touchpad or mouse? All I can imagine, for me, is it being the same exact process only I'm holding a stylus instead lol.

Sounds as if you used mouse in gimp 2.6.

Yup, except it was GIMP 2.8 haha. I'm at a strange point where I have and easier time making my lines with the mouse than with a pen.

In short, you will always use references in some way or another if you're seeking to learn, but you won't get much further without trying to draw without references.

I assuming learning how to draw the face by using the reference lines. Like this. Also, shading techniques and so on, would be the stuff to learn in order to move into the realm of drawing original concepts and not just bowls of fruit?

For me I always wanted to be able to express myself in as many ways possible, linguistically, artistically, musically, physically (which is why I write, draw, compose and dance etc.).

That reminds me of a lot of the Youtube channels I watch. Their videos seem to span several different mediums. The top Youtubers know proper film techniques, how to do computer effects, usually can sing, play an instrument, dance, and some I believe make their own graphics art, logos, etc.
 

Posted Jan 31, '13 at 3:51pm

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but what makes the tablet so much faster than a touchpad or mouse


When I was younger, I spent most of my time drawing and writing, as opposed to typing or using a mouse. Also it seems using a mouse requires more movement from the elbow, so there's less fine motor groups utilised to compensate for the crudity of drawing essentially from your biceps and triceps. Using a stylus, my fingers come towards a point, giving me additional mechanical advantage and therefore control, so I have a wider range of movement.

The other big advantage of a tablet is pressure sensitivity, which you can use to program opacity or size depending on which program you use.

Also, shading techniques and so on, would be the stuff to learn in order to move into the realm of drawing original concepts and not just bowls of fruit?


In part yes. I did a few basic drills in my incidental art classes at school that nobody took seriously, but it was a simple matter of continual observation and picking up random tidbits from other images that I studied and replicated techniques from that allowed me to learn how to draw new textures. As for shapes and concepts, well that's more to do with familiarity with object, genre and convention, and then synthesis of everything. I used to be skeptical about using a frame to draw faces, but depending on your purpose it can be very useful (for me right now it's most useful for drawing Strip's head in a more cartoony, accessible style, because I can do the sphere and wedge approach, only the wedge is slightly different).
 

Posted Jan 31, '13 at 4:23pm

Reton8

Reton8

2,802 posts

Moderator

The other big advantage of a tablet is pressure sensitivity, which you can use to program opacity or size depending on which program you use


.Ahh, okay that makes sense. Maybe once I get some money I'll buy a tablet.

I studied and replicated techniques from that allowed me to learn how to draw new textures. As for shapes and concepts, well that's more to do with familiarity with object, genre and convention, and then synthesis of everything.


Now if I can only find the time and motivation, I do want to be better, but at the moment I don't know how beneficial increasing my art skills will be for career prospects. I tend to do most of my art when i'm procrastinating.

I always appreciate your feedback because it's useful and informative. I do like well thought out criticism because it shows me where I've mistepped and what to try and do to make the piece better.

You or Cenere should do a thread where people submit a piece and then you give feedback. But that would be hugely time consuming, possibly boring for you, and you probably could just give lessons and get paid instead.
 

Posted Jan 31, '13 at 5:07pm

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You or Cenere should do a thread where people submit a piece and then you give feedback. But that would be hugely time consuming, possibly boring for you, and you probably could just give lessons and get paid instead.


Currently, that would be called the art skills contest :P

Though I might possibly think about a procrastination machine where I use an altered format... be aware though that I have virtually no formal education in art, so I'm not exactly "qualified". And when it comes to colour theory, you're better off asking Cen. I consult Cen frequently on colouring matters. And hair.
 
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