Lightning from FFXIII – done as an attempt to buff my terrible painting skills.
Taken from the cover of the 360 version of the game as a reference point, but painted from scratch without tracing (hence why it doesn’t look like Lightning’s face)
Total time spent: i think about 5-6 hours (not all at once though).
Done in paint tool SAI using a custom brush to emulate copic markers.
Had great fun trying to make the face look like Lightning’s. Anatomically i’m actually quite happy to be able to paint a face from scratch. In terms of it actually looking like Lightning… not so much.
The message is so simple it can seem pointless to express it and all that message says is Don’t give up! But it’s a message that becomes easy to forget over the constant screw-ups and perceived failures that all budding artists suffer from. All it can take is a misdrawn line that ruins the grey values of a person’s cheekbones or using the wrong colour for an undercoat and one can forever decide they’re never going to be a real artist.
This is what I hope to help prevent with this site (even if I am terrible at updating and writing and drawing myself). The assumption that your art is magical and instant, and if you can’t draw something good the first time then clearly you don’t have the talent and should quit immediately. This line of thinking is something that we all end up thinking at many points in our life, and it will destroy you. Don’t let it conquer you. Revel in the crapiness of your current work. Slowly trudge up the pile of crap you created beneath you. Sometimes you’ll sink further down and you’ll wonder how you’ve somehow gotten worse. But keep at it. The top of your pile of crap will have reached that line you’re aiming for, and you’ll start getting good without even noticing. This is a good thing. It means that even when you’re awesome you’ll still be trying to improve (just try not to get bogged down in the negativity of it all).
Similar to yesterday’s post on sprayart and how easy it is to do. Here’s another one that fits the bill (those easily moved may want to grab a tissue to wipe the single powerful tear from their eye).
That’s definitely a jaw hanger of a picture. Kind of makes you hang your head in shame. A kid that age has made something more powerful than anything you’ve ever even considered. Oh and look, he’s from Myanmar. You don’t even know where Myanmar is (google it, i’m not telling you). To think a child from such a (probably) poor country has so much talent. More talent than you’ll ever have surely.
Like the sprayart stuff, it’s still just techniques. This becomes so very obvious as soon as you cast your eyes down on his other pictures at the beginning of the video. Gee, those trees look awfully like the one in the first picture. And hey, the temples at the back seem to only be one of two different types. And hell, let’s face it, the perspective is always so similar that it might as well just be the same picture again and again. This kid is just a machine in a factory line spitting out printouts.
Now i’m not condeming the artist here (i may have gone a bit too far with that factory line comment). What he’s doing is great and exactly what you as a budding artist should be doing. And that is simply PRACTICING YOUR TECHNIQUE OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
The reason that tree looks amazing is becausing it’s the seven hundredth tree he’s painted in the past year. The fact that he’s able to capture such a beautiful perspective line is because he can draw that line in his sleep.
Like Bruce Lee would have said if he was paraphrasing something he once wrote and related it to terms of painting ‘be not amazed at the artist who has drawn ten thousand trees, be amazed at the artist who has drawn one tree ten thousand times’. This is something you should be doing all the time.
Of course it can be maddening for an artist to draw the same thing ten thousand times. After a while it would just feel pointless. Sure your skill may improved, but you’re going to hate trees by the end of it (the trees will share your feelings, knowing how much paper you have consumed).
Motivation is going to end up being a factor to keep you going. This is one of the primary hurdles most artists will fall over. Simply being willing to redraw one misproportioned face is enough to make some people throw their pencil across the room. How does one find the willpower to overcome this self defeating process of constant drawing the same thing over and over.
Well, i’m afraid it’s different for everyone, and it’s something you’re going to have to find for yourself. I can’t say for sure, but this kid looks like he gets his motivation from selling his pictures (it may also be a tree from his childhood, i have no idea). In this way commissions and requests are a great way to do some practice. since it’s a piece of work you’re going to be showing somebody, you will want it to look right. You can’t just throw a half hearted scribble at them that sort of went wrong along the path to drawing accurate feet. You need to get it presentable, and that will mean redrawing it a few times.
Doodling is another basic method. Scribble your trees in your margins at every opportunity. Your body can pick up the point along the way.
And think of comic book artists. How many times did Jack Kirby draw the Avengers? How many times has Oda-sensei drawn Luffy? The trick is in those slight variations that keeps the passion burning. Different angles, different perspectives and of course a constant storyline that requires you to draw similar scenes over and over again. Find your own method.
Does this all seem too difficult? Well tough. Stop whining and get on with it. You wanted to be an artist right? What do you think you’re supposed to be doing? Fill some sketchbooks!