15 October 2012

rydain: (Cao Ren Sunset)
My focus on drawing has slid me down into the asscrack of the Dunning-Kruger curve. I can see knock-kneed hints of professionalism, see how far they fall behind the superb form and gesture and composition and volume in the works I admire. Art is hard, for reals. You read the classic references, like the amazing Andrew Loomis. You study pro illustrators and browse critique threads on Concept Art until you feel unqualified to pick up a box of Crayolas. You gnash and sweat over your own work, wrest life into your flat lines through countless do-overs, feel the lightbulb flick on, still know there's Something Missing but can't tell exactly what. Then you get a fresh look at your finished piece and wonder why you never noticed its shortcomings to begin with.

And at some point, you remember how to give yourself a hand for progress well earned.

Cao Ren, booty shorts )

Yes, it's cheesy fan service. It's also an exercise in constructing anatomy. The original pose came from a badly lit snapshot. I reposed and rendered it with help from Loomis textbooks and muscle photography. My goal was to capture weight and volume while learning about the underlying structure and developing my own style for representing landmarks of the human body. For a first attempt at such an exercise, I'm proud.

Just a Dance - Cai Wenji x Cao Ren, colored )

I finally figured out this coloring business well enough for a start. I tried a couple of years back, but the piece fell flat and weird because the underlying structure just wasn't there. Simple as this style is, it was a pleasant and fun surprise. And I can build on it in the future.

The Scars of War - Cao Ren portrait, 2 years better )

Say hello to the best damn lines I've done. Ever. The original took me weeks of on and off poking while I was still shaking off a load of rust from my post-high-school art inactivity. The redraw took 10 days - including the challenges of learning proper facial construction, further loosening up my style, and starting to comprehend hair in locks. Still, I have to give the original fair credit. It shows the symmetry and parallel line measurement I brought over from my cosplay drafting experience, and the tassel has reasonable volume. And I would have never improved if I had been afraid to try.

August 2015

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