your art is so beautiful!! the marvelous perspectives, the colors, the rough yet smooth method in which you draw is so incredibly enchanting it actually made me tear up a bit, haha. it's so lovely and evocative I feel like I'm being transported into another world. seeing your art in my dash always brightens up my day^^ thank you for sharing your work with us!
I’m really glad you think so anon, your message cheered up my day. Thank you!
I’m trying to be more available and present for questions and advice about portfolio/career things. In the past one of the issues in my availability has been that questions I get are very broad or general. The other issue is that I don’t always have time, and things get lost in my email box. So I thought for starters to share what has been useful to me in recent years. Mind you, this is not general masterpost of anything, it is just interesting tidbits from my point of view that might be useful to others.
Perspective and layout:
Thomas Romain’s tips for perspective. Perspective is hard in the beginning, but I promise it gets easier the more you do it. This is a good reference for whenever I feel confused or struggling.
Marcos Mateau-Mestre: Framed Ink highly recommended! Informative, for beginners and professionals alike.
Tod Polson: The Noble Approach a look into animation history particularly from layout and design point of view. For anyone who’s interested in very graphic and shape oriented approach to animation layouts and philosophy behind it.
Hans Bacher: Dream Worlds a book that takes a quick look on all aspects of animation, I think it’s a good resource for sparking interest in variety of departments in animation and understanding how feature films are made. Often referenced when explaining basics of visual development and concepting for animation.
100 Tuesday Tips With Griz and Norm
http://grizandnorm.squarespace.com/tuesday-tips a great collection of variety of helpful tips for drawing from two Disney feature artists.
Where to start with online figure drawing. It’s free! The goal for figure drawing should be to draw meaningfully. I’ve spent years of my life doodling and only absorbing a little bit of information, but I think there are more effective ways to learn. These exercises I do are to make me better at drawing dimensionally and so that the characters are acting and interacting in a space.
Exercise 1: Drawing long sessions - taking the time to observe. We should always aim to draw the characters as 3dimensional, even if desired result is heavily stylized and simplified. In the beginning, it might be more helpful to start with thinking anatomy as boxes and balls and pyramids (I draw boxes, but different artists have different methods), I’ve found it helps me to improve my perspective and dimensions. Starting to draw muscles and skeleton straight away, it can be difficult to place them correctly, until there’s enough knowledge to break them down into more basic shapes. I find it takes time to start understanding and really visualizing things in three dimensions, but these exercises help.
Exercise 2: Drawing over photographs. I saw storyboard artist Ethan Becker on Youtube teach this and found it useful. I do this sometimes, because this too, helps to see how exactly all building blocks of human/creature are acting in different poses and action. The point is not to just idly doodle-trace over outlines, it’s to learn to see the underlying geometry.
Exercise 3: Croquis - the short poses. These exercises are to particularly push the line of action, the direction and force of the pose. It’s also good for seeing how well the basic shapes are working and how they stretch and bend in motion.
Color and light (painting):
Studying how light works immensely helps to figure out how color works. It’s also a necessary skill in BG painting or visual development for animation and very helpful for illustration. Other than that, I’m including a few videos of painting that I think are interesting and have been relevant to what I’m doing.
Schoolism course: Fundamentals of Lighting with Sam Nielsen https://www.schoolism.com/school.php?id=3
Schoolism course: Painting with Light and Color with Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo https://www.schoolism.com/school.php?id=30
James Gurney: Color and Light - A Guide for the Realist Painter
Hans Bacher: Vision - Color and Composition for Film
Scott Wills painting demos on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvqCOo47Ag_GdWk_HXc1l_hD20yGca8TH
Four Disney artists paint a tree: https://youtu.be/9Dg8w6gk4cE
With these, a little disclaimer! My area of knowledge is mainly color and paint for backgrounds, illustration and a bit of character design. When it comes to storyboards and animating, I have next to no experience and there are many others who would be better to ask about these things.
I feel like writing some ye olde blog post, just me mulling over internet existence and social media.
I’ve always relied a lot on social media as a way to show my work and to have it seen, especially when I was located in Finland and it was more difficult to find peers. In the early days of internet, just internet existing was a way for me to connect with new friends, because I was lonely, I had horribly bad self-esteem, and I didn’t get along with others in real life. I’ve practically grown up in the internet, but it never seemed that much of a problem until sometime after turning 25 (I’m 31 now). I always thought that internet is great for connecting, exploring, discovering and sharing my art. It sometimes still genuinely is.
Over the years, internet has been taking more visible toll on my mental health.
When I look back at myself, Livejournal, Deviantart even Tumblr, I see a different person in a different internet landscape. Lot of the issues were there for sure, there’s always been drama and bullying, but internet had more distance between places. It felt more like pockets and corners and it lacked the tools of immediate sharing and spreading, for a while. Now everything is connected, for the good and the bad of it.
Instead of feeling like I’m finally me, expressing myself when online, I’ve found myself describing online-ness more as a shadow existence. Maybe part of it is naturally just growing up, hating myself less, knowing myself better and having a life outside the internet. But maybe a part of it is also the corners and pockets that vanished and the difficulty of privacy that killed experimenting and sincerity, unless they somehow fit the online persona, the assumption of who you are. I feel much more reluctant to share anything and I’m not capable of making online friends like I used to. Instead, social media is a lot of just seeing random glimpses into other artists’s lives, whom I don’t know very well, sometimes maybe wish I did, but I often delete my comments. I don’t want to be intrusive, I don’t want to be that commenter who someone secretly wishes wouldn’t interact. It’s not like the internet even needs any more input from me. I don’t mean to discourage anyone from doing so, I personally am just exhausted and troubled.
On one side I’m kind of coming in terms of not being that person anymore who shares their life on internet and feels like themselves in there. I used to have a comic blog, I used to talk about events in my life, people and places. I used to share pretty much all I created, no matter how crappy it was. I don’t think I can go back to that. But on the other side, it has felt like I’m repressing myself and my online presence has been more focused in just being the art and the work, and partly because of that it’s a struggle to remind myself I have other value as a person beyond my drawing output. As if that wasn’t enough of a source for anxiety, no matter how much I tell myself otherwise, I feel like someone else on social media is always succeeding more, living the dreams and perfection that I don’t even truly want myself, yet my head is filled with meaningless comparisons and feelings of never being good enough.
I might not be wise or witty enough to be a talking artist, but I will continue posting my drawings and maybe even insufferable blog ramblings like this, here. In real life, I’m trying to learn again how to enjoy making things without it being a measure of my worth.
Take care everyone, stay home.