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File 133357731283.png - (899.99KB , 983x787 , notquitesoflippinmagic.png )
101345 No. 101345
What is wrong with Applejack?

In this case I'm specifically asking proportions.

I have a sneaking suspicion I left the neck too long before building in the detail, which means I am either back to the drawing board on the whole doggone head or trying to cut and paste this back into shape at the color stage.

>That feel that you're destined to at best be a draughtsman, copying other people's art line for line, and never a *real* artist..
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 101551
File 133372963045.png - (152.94KB , 555x495 , spiritshineumm.png )
I think the neck is fine. It may be the muzzle. It's a bit too elongated and you should probably round it out a bit more.
>> No. 101553
Funny drawing! I like it.

Proportions: Applejack should have smaller body, larger head. the eyes should be ever so slightly bigger, and her ponytail (mane) could be longer.

One thing that helped me when drawing is to think of proportions as relatives. Applejack looks cute, so her head is BIG and her body is small, with a perky round flank, skinny legs with bell bottoms, and HUGE eyes.

What you have is a great drawing - just keep at it and your drawings can only get more and more appealing.
>> No. 101678
File 133383847487.png - (905.41KB , 983x787 , notquitesoflippinmagic_headtweak.png )

As I look, I agree the muzzle's long. The muzzles drive me crazy. Unless I am drawing a pony straight off a screen cap, I can never place them properly. Methinks the animators cheat it on a regular basis, so I can't build a good 3D model in my head. (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

And I think the head being too small is what was making me think the neck was too long.

Mocked up a "fix" in Gimp, though I'd probably break out the eraser and do it for real before rescanning.
>> No. 101684
File 133384358806.png - (290.64KB , 730x364 , ajhead.png )
Love the comic. You should pick up a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. To wit:

You're drawing the symbol for a muzzle, not a pony face: you're thinking, she has a muzzle, this is how a muzzle is drawn. Instead, try seeing that part of the face for the lines that make it up, not what it ultimately represents.

It's a realism drawing exercise, e.g. not drawing the symbol for an eye where an eye goes vs. looking at a real eye and representing it instead of using the learned symbol.

That's a lot for two little lines in a cartoon, I know. Have a redline to show how I "see" it.

Also... everypony here is copying a kids show, or copying copies of a kids show, or copying the so called "drawing guides" developed to copy a kids show. A "real artist" might screencap an episode of Rarity, print that shit on a 6'x8' canvas and then spraypaint a single line cock and balls over it in red and say "THIS IS ART".

The difference between you and the "real artist" is you're not saying to yourself "This is art!"
>> No. 101700
I read Right Side a long time ago and it made worlds of difference to me. I definitely recommend it to anypony and everypony who hasn't read it. I still struggle to apply it to things I don't have a direct screencap for; I can draw what I see but not what my mind's eye can see.

But I also wanted to say that in my own occasional threads and in others, I always see you giving constructive criticism and encouragement; and the community here is better for it. I find myself trying to do the same for other newbies. Somepony is my hero.
>> No. 101725
File 133386548149.png - (1.33MB , 1028x876 , dontyouthinkyouvespammedtheforumwiththispictureenoughtimes.png )
[Hopefully I can delete the post from three minutes ago.]
Redrew the whole @#$% head in pencil, scanned it, then decided, "Wait, I want to change her line of action so that she's leaning in toward Spike a bit instead of recoiling", and had to redraw background bits with tablet after a crude cut paste and rotate.

Things I have decided:
* It's an improvement but the head was still off. I managed to miss that I placed the ears too high, which anchored the mane too high, which made the whole thing oval. The muzzle's still a little thick, maybe.
* A couple of bubbles around Spike's head were funny. Somewhere along the line, it went too far.
* AJ's bar is called The Spoiled Barrel. A couple rotten apples, but not nearly as much of a dive as "The Cutie Mark", the joint with excessively-clothed dancers down the street.
* If I had it to do over again, I'd shorten the table and the back counter, and make the window bigger to frame AJ's head a bit. I like that making her lean in gives me a more pleasing triangle composition but it lost some of the framing by accident that the first sketch had.
* Maybe need to tweak the hair so it shows more "flowing over the shoulder" and avoids some of the intersecting line issues I'm seeing there. Between her ponytail, her apron, and her armpit, it's busy around there.
* I really dunno if I want to redraw/finish/ink this anymore, even the main reason I started the sketch is I was amused by the idea of a building in Ponyville with a pink neon CIDER sign...
* Spike's not the most cheerful customer around, but at least you don't have to worry about cutting him off when he gets to the point of making, "Funny, it doesn't taste like apples" jokes, unlike other nameless rainbow-maned pegasi.
>> No. 101726
wow, thanks.
>> No. 101736

Haha, this is so true.
>> No. 101822
File 133394530445.png - (479.86KB , 961x743 , redenbacher.png )
Had to get a quick and sketchy comic down while inspiration struck.
>> No. 101968
File 133402635218.png - (493.62KB , 836x596 , notquitesoflippinmagicinksdraft3.png )
ARGH. Fix it, Finish it, Ink it, Love it. Sleep. See it again with fresh eyes, HATE IT. Maybe I can color a scan of the old pencils...
>> No. 101982
your forgot leave it for a month
>did I drawn that?

it's fine- savin the CIDER sign ain't pink.
>> No. 102007
File 133406855457.png - (173.20KB , 1000x1000 , 132519668931.png )
Ya know, I think I've figured out what's been bothering me with this pic...The arms and legs seem to be too short and thin....
>> No. 102023
You cannot determine the length of legs!
You are a ghost!
Silly ghost.

All jokes aside, I don't think I see the problem.
>> No. 102024
File 133408296966.png - (410.27KB , 724x771 , ajref.png )
Hey! I still have arms at least xD

Perhaps a picture would make things clearer. So i look a pic of AJ, and resized it so her head is approximately the same size as the one drawn. Then using a ruler, I measured the length of the fore legs and marked the length on the reference picture. It seems to be a bit short. Did the same with the thigh and leg. The thigh is too long and the leg a tad short. Now I also noticed the legs to be a bit thin. Again I measured and marked. I think the fact that the limbs are too short and thin makes AJ seem...unstable, like a chibi anime character and how they have huge heads and stick limbs xD
>> No. 102032
Ah! I see it now. Yep... Stick legs.
>> No. 102038
Darn. Now I see it too. Back feet aren't nearly as wide as they should be, and the cheated arms (proper internal anatomy for a horse wiping down the counter at a bar? Wasn't even going to try.) are too long. Having the pics side by side makes me feel better a out how the head turned out, though it still looms weird to me.

Think I'm going to put this down, go duplicate some screenshots line for line, and come back in a month having forgotten I drew this.
>> No. 102085
File 133411653234.jpg - (188.81KB , 1280x960 , heyheyhey.jpg )
Now if I can just teach Fluttershy to tend bar...
>> No. 102181
File 133420433417.jpg - (132.94KB , 704x612 , fancy.jpg )
Fifteenth time's a charm uploading this, but...
Practice! She's in no condition to tend bar, though...
>> No. 102355
File 133438465273.jpg - (319.89KB , 1088x1056 , studyinpink.jpg )
More studies. Pinkie is probably banned from every bar in the tri-county area.
>> No. 102379
File 133444143439.jpg - (230.28KB , 703x800 , sketchbookAJ.jpg )
Think I'm starting to get a grasp of this proportion/anatomy thing. Original sketch was too thick through the torso, even for a 3/4 view.

Can I get a check on the legs and torso?
>> No. 102419
Looks pretty good! Heavy says: ANONYMOUS IS KREDIT TO TEAM.
>> No. 102426
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The arms and legs are looking much better! Your other sketches are pretty good too in respect to anatomy/proportions. Though I still have a feeling there's something not 100% right...The head still looks a bit big to me. I think it might be that the torso isn't long enough. I measured the reference pic, and the height of AJ's head is approximately the same length as the length of the body.
>> No. 102432
Hrm. From what I can tell the torso is a little less than a head long, but squashes and stretches as they stand up. Seem to be oscillating between over and understating the effect.
>> No. 102670
File 133463819952.jpg - (89.31KB , 900x468 , studiesinponytummy.jpg )
I would say, "back to the drawing board", but this is back to the sketchbook before I can go back to the drawing board.

Torsos seem to be half a head wide in cross section to a full head wide at 3/4 view.

Also, I hadn't noticed until now that the animators seem to draw Rarity ever so slightly hippier/more pelvically augmented than the other two. I wonder if that's a design thing or just an unconcious exaggeration due to the posing.

Also also, the line that defines the pot belly is so frickin' subtle. It's worse than the mouths. Hold the pencil at this angle and get an adorable tummy, hold the pencil and that angle and trace the same line and she's got a beer gut.
>> No. 102753
File 133472014502.jpg - (183.42KB , 920x689 , laurenfaustmeetssalbuscema.jpg )
Punchy Twilght Sparkle made me think of an old Sal Buscema panel.
>> No. 102878
File 133480719832.png - (642.20KB , 807x572 , laurenfaustmeetssalbuscema2.png )
Crude cut and paste made this read so much better (seeing as I drew teenage dragon jerk guy -- did he get a name?-- out of perspective in the first place.

Well, out of perspective, and horribly.
>> No. 103048
File 133499125200.png - (942.17KB , 1024x815 , AnotherLongShiftAtTheSpoiledBarrel.png )
Finally got something where I was comfortable coloring it. Think I still screwed up the legs and torso, but I think it might finally be good enough to get Applejack the world-weary barkeep out of my head...

Tried my hand at Paint Tool SAI. It really is a night and day difference over Photoshop and Gimp in the way the tablet feels. Found myself missing the parallel straight edge from my drawing table, though.

Redrew AJ from scratch, the rest were traced in from the original pencil sketch. I found myself kinda liking the sketchy look for AJ, so I "uncleaned up" the lines on everything else to match her.

I don't have the patience to be a good colorist. Pillow shade the primary light source, air brush in a few reflected colors and by then I am booooored. There are a couple of flats in there that I would fix if I had any dignity as an artist at all, but dignity is for suckers.

Speaking of dignity being for suckers, I think it's time I come out of the pony closet. I'm still hemming and hawing over whether to use a Ponychan specific handle here, but I have a Deviant Art account at
>> No. 103080
File 133503770913.png - (204.85KB , 1000x1000 , 131676380454.png )
Lookin good!
>> No. 103086
Thanks! Got a lot of good feedback and advice here from you and others, and I think my pony art is looking better for it.
>> No. 103198
File 133514953585.png - (0.99MB , 1210x610 , prymytwilightfrommycolddeadfingers.png )
Dear Princess Celestia,

Today I learned that a standard set of colored pencils doesn't have any pink in it. What's up with that?

Also, I learned it's important to assert your right to bear arms, or at least bear your friends in your arms.

If your friend is your militia, it's important to to the security of a free state keep her well-regulated. I recommend a diet high in fiber. But that also means you have to be careful while cranking her tail. Whew!

Love, Pinkie Pie

P.S. You'll take my Twilight Sparkle when you pry her from my cold dead hooves.
>> No. 103310
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Sometimes my subconscious suddenly notices that we're a grown man drawing a pony in a dress crying at a wedding.
>> No. 103825
File 133566982044.png - (282.90KB , 779x310 , whydoiputsomuchworkintostupidideasdecal.png )
I can generally tell how stupid an idea is by how much fun I have drawing it.

This one had to be majestically idiotic.
>> No. 103826
File 133567004526.png - (376.90KB , 911x818 , whydoiputsomuchworkintostupidideas.png )
And the detail.

(I can also tell the embarrassingly stupid ideas by the fact that they get no favorites on Deviant Art, but they get more downloads.)
>> No. 103872
File 133572998783.png - (75.23KB , 420x420 , spiritshinelaugh.png )
Hah, how silly, and hilarious!
>> No. 104131
File 133600957047.png - (595.45KB , 1343x1107 , spikesaddle.png )
If I had a therapist, they'd probably tell me this was some sort of creepy metaphor for my closet bronyhood.

Lucky for me, I can't afford therapy and just draw pictures of ponies.
>> No. 104321
File 133618112089.png - (188.13KB , 511x622 , breezeberetta.png )
On her Twitter Meghan McCarthy jokingly tossed out the name "Breeze Beretta" as Fluttershy's badass cousin. I couldn't not see that name as a Pam Grier homage.

I am disappointed that I can't come up with a decent tail design, or a decent bellbottoms-with-giant-frickin'-collar jumpsuit. Suggestions are welcome.
>> No. 104496
File 133635859767.png - (1.22MB , 746x800 , fluttershyisconcernedaboutRLeeErmey.png )
I'd been sitting on the pencils to this forever, finally got around to fixing the Fluttershy.

Part of me thinks this is stupid, and part of me thinks I need to gather reference material for the companion pieces "Sam Elliot can't convince Pinkie Pie not to eat the big white mint", "Kirsten Vangness and Twilght Sparkle are having trouble flagging down the bartender", and "Applejack calls me Sugarcube, Robin Meade calls me Sunshine, everypony else calls me crazy."
>> No. 105471
File 133713966566.png - (3.16MB , 1200x1549 , BovineBaristasMakeReallyFreshLattes.png )
Perspective is hard, y'all.

So is staying on-model, inking, and coloring.

Hence me giving up on this. Besides, there are bits of this (beehive pony in center of second panel, third panel expression) that I like too much and I'm worried I'll ruin if I touch them again.
>> No. 105473
I've found that if I want to do anything with perspective, I have to do two or three sketches for the layout first. Otherwise, it's like hammering square pegs into decagram holes all buckin' day long.

Inclomplete or not, this made me laugh. Out loud, no less.
>> No. 105474
File 133714082713.jpg - (158.98KB , 987x713 , figures in perspective.jpg )
A friend found these great tutorials out of some old "how to draw comics" book, and the "horizon line is eye level" bit made worlds of difference to me, but I still haven't figured out where vanishing points are supposed to go.
>> No. 105475
File 133714091189.jpg - (139.50KB , 705x999 , perspective.jpg )
>> No. 106297
File 133782868772.png - (3.61MB , 800x2178 , PinkiePiesAdrenalineRush.png )
A practice exercise in panel layout and storytelling. Would really love some critique before I ruin it in the inking stages.

Feel free to redline the wonkiest pony (probably RD, she flat-out refused to flow from my pencil...).

But more imporantly I just want to know: Does this comic make any *sense* to you?
Can you tell what's happening from panel to panel?
Do the background shots establish where everypony is?
Am I freeze-framing the right moment in time to tell the story?
Are the references (epi-pens, cupcakes, stall rakes) too obscure?
>> No. 106310
This. There needs to be more of this in the world. Where I'm from, this is what we call "something of value."

The dialog could be trimmed down. For example:
"You should try that jam on the table, twilight!" The location of the jam isn't really essential information.
"The strawberry in the jam really brings out..." Put strawberry in front of "jam" in the second panel, and you could replace this whole snippet with "it"
"Did you say peanut butter?" Could be cut.
"omigosh, there's jam everywhere..." Don't. Cut. Anything. Here. :3

You get the idea.

>Word/Picture Combinations and Choices of Moment:
The panel of Spike tripping has a little too much going on. The "Hold on, twilight.." dialog kinda happens before the trip, so I'd move that to it's own panel. If said panel had Spike grabbing the kit, you could cut the line "I've got it." The shot of the jam spilling could be cut, since the trip-headdesk-fly panel already shows that, which would make room on the page for a "Hold on Twilight" shot of Spike.

Dash Approaching:
Since Dash and the dialog were in the same panel, I thought at first that Dash was hearing her say it.

Dash Fainting:
Dash goes straight from talking to fainting. A frame of her with a "..!" expression would A. fill out the sequence and B. just hilarious. You could probably cut the fainting panel in half, and just draw her face with the reaction. I gotta admit, tho, that's a really great rag-doll. :3

>Just how good is this comic?
This. Made. Me. Laugh. Several times, which isn't easy with just two pages. Pinkie with the needle? I completely did not see that coming, and when I saw it, it all made perfect sense instantly. That was a superb delivery.

The three "little accidents?" That was a gorgeous little follow up.You didn't have to force anything to come up with three "accidents," either. And yes, I got the stall rake reference. That was bad, just... so wrong. X3

A better wording for the last bit might be "Hope you have a stall rake I can borrow..."

The locations were all understandable, the facial expressions and body language were on the mark, and everything in the panels were arranged in a clear order. Especially that shot of Spike tripping... right to left: spike trips, hits table, jam flies, Pinkie is about to get it. That was flawless sequence.

Idiot's Guide to Tripping Hazzards... nice touch. :3

>A friend found these great tutorials out of some old "how to draw comics" book...
I'm curious: what book? My personal bible is Scott McCloud's Making Comics, plus the three by Wil Eisner.

>"Horizon line is eye level"
Just a point I'd like to contribute here... strictly speaking, the horizon line is the level of the camera. Normally, this means it's level with everypony's eyes, but it could also be put level with, say, everypony's chest (for dramatic effect) and everypony's chest would end up on the line. Guides hardly ever point it out.

Also, tall or short people's eyes will not be at the same level as average people's eyes. Some guides forget to point that out. But, I'm rambling now. Can't wait to see this when it's finished. :3
>> No. 106329
Thanks for the feedback! Also, for slogging through despite the right hand side missing a quarter inch from the scan. (A sign of a great artist is attention to detail.)

The dialogue help is greatly appreciated. I'm not a fanfic'er but I tend to textwall. My love of precisely articulated stupid ideas doesn't help. The transition panel for RD is something I've considered, draft sketches had poor attempts at those "two face" head swings like in old Archie comics, but I didn't like the way it was going. Maybe with more reference material..

I want to say the book is a way out-of-print of one the Dick Giordiano how-to's. I'll double check.
>> No. 106367
>I'm not a fanfic'er but I tend to textwall.
When I write a comic script, I spend about an two hours writing... and two weeks trimming it down and rearranging things.

>The transition panel for RD is something I've considered,
I could sketch a suggestion, if you like.
>> No. 106420
I never turn down free advice, especially in sketch form.
If I can find room in the composition (cut the heck out RD's dialogue? Move some of her dialogue to the panel where she approaches the tree?) to add in one more RD panel on the second page, I'm thinking that might be the way to go.

It also occurs to me that it would probably flow better if she approached the tree from the right, but that's a lot of redrawing. And redrawing of the tree. (Seriously, Twilight, SCREW your intricately detailed treehouse. Screw it with left handed threads...)
>> No. 106453
File 133791400736.png - (3.25MB , 1464x2269 , garfitorspalkuru.png )
(I have a bootleg Beast Wars Neo Longrack - - that was named GARFITOR on his awesome Engrish packaging. GARFITOR is my wife's favorite toy out of my geeky plastic robot collection. Hence the name.)

Pallet cleanser while I step away from my comic for a day.

This is by far the most twee, adorable thing I have ever drawn. I don't know whether to squee or vomit.
>> No. 106457
File 133791746466.png - (35.97KB , 200x324 , twillamasm.png )
I love seeing ponies as other animals =3
>> No. 106533
It warms the dark corners of my heart to know that the internet has a ready-made Twillama Sparkle (Twilight Spalpaca?) (Twi...I got nothing for Vicunas) to respond to a picture of a purple giraffe with.
>> No. 106543
File 133799204259.gif - (208.04KB , 194x300 , garfitorspalkaruani.gif )
My wife was disappointed that there was no giraffe tongue action. So, animated gif.
>> No. 106563
File 133801307909.png - (379.99KB , 800x499 , Chrysalis Bubbles.png )
Experimenting with working all digital (Paint Tool Sai, mostly the marker on bristle for lines and Spread for color). Not quite ready to give up the ol' mechanical no. 2 yet.

May have to return to this concept sometime when I really have time to smooth it out; it amuses me greatly.
>> No. 106588
File 133806218665.png - (356.89KB , 800x499 , Chrysalis Bubbles.png )
Felt like cleaning it up a little more.
>> No. 106806
File 133825457769.png - (539.51KB , 1200x600 , adrenalinerushcolordraft.png )
Decided to take my time on the comic and ink it as carefully as I can stand (and then slap color on with the marker tool, because I don't have the patience to learn to be a proper colorist).

First time really spending any time with Paint Tool SAI's linework layer tools. I think I'm in love.

(This is going to take for-frickin'-EVER, though.)
>> No. 106809
I wish I could give you advice, but I've never really touched Paint Tool SAI... I do everything in Photoshop. Most of what I do, though, can be described as the classical technique of ancient artistic artistry formally known (by most schools of art) as "scribbling."

The page is looking good, to say the least. For some spots on the tree, there are gaps between the colour and the lineart... I'll chalk that up to the fact that it's a WIP, tho. :3

The barn seems incongruous. The library is somewhere in downtown Ponyville, and Sweet Apple Acres is out in the suburbs. Or... at least, that's how I pictured it.
>> No. 106812
I forget which ep I paused to draw a thumbnail from, but it had a barn, a fence, some sunflowers, and a windmill. Later I was looking at another ep and there's some sort of house there. I stuck with the barn out of stubbornness, but the house appears to be consistently used for season 2. Im hoping the final colors will have it faded sufficiently into the background to not be a distraction but more of a fridge logic curiosity.
>> No. 106815
White streaks in the art are semi-intentional.

I'm playing with the marker tools because I fell in love with these pictures:
and upon talking to the artist she mentioned the latter was done with the marker tools, bristle for the lineart, and spread for the color layer.

Up to now, I limited my color to doing a layer of "flats" and then shading those with a multiply layer using airbush or just paint brush. The marker is less forgiving of stray marks (see the brown line in the top of the tree), but when it works, it picks up and blends from the colors nearby beautifully (the bush behind the sign).

So I'm playing with that, and needless to say I'm learning as I go. I like the added texture of cranking the "paper" factor way up and using a giant marker, plus coloring this way has a coloring book feel that I just find nostalgaic and soothing.

It looks great on Pinkie Pie's relatively simple color scheme. I'm actually kinda digging the "coloring outside the lines" look, although as I get to the "darker" panels, I'm not sure it will set the right tone.

That frickin' tree has too much going on to keep from making too many mistakes that pile up, though.

I get the sense that if really want to make it look good, I need to select the area like I would for my old "flats", and then color in that selection with the marker so I don't have to worry about crossing over the lines.
>> No. 107310
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Two things:
1) Holy Cow, this is taking forEVAR. I really need to learn how to ink like a real artist with nib pens and brushes and such. Seems like it would be faster to do it old skool.

2) Question to the group at large: Is it "cheaping out" to use a ready-made font to letter a comic? It'd probably be more legible than my chicken scratch and it'd be a heck of a lot quicker than vectoring my text.
>> No. 107385
>1) I really need to learn how to ink like a real artist with nib pens and brushes and such.
I find that it is much quicker to ink on paper... I use nib pens (512-EF Bowl Point and a 107 hawk quill) and non-waterproof india ink (non-waterproof ink makes it easer to clean the pens). A full page comic takes me 1-2 hours to line, digital clean up takes 20-40 minutes. It does takes some study and practice to learn how to do it properly and well (protip: never dip a dip pen)... When I started, cleanup would take more like 4 hours. There's also a few tricks for cleaning up a scan that makes things go faster.

Drawing Words & Writing Pictures is a nice little comics how-to book that has a decent section on inking with brush and pen. Actually, it's got a lot of good stuff. Very practical.

I figure out one thing that makes inking go faster... minimize time spent fixing lines. If a line doesn't look good, it's more efficient to undo and try again than to spend two minutes tweaking it.

>Question to the group at large: Is it "cheaping out" to use a ready-made font to letter a comic?
Not. At. All. I ink with a pen, and I'm not even remotely crazy enough to hand letter my comics. For most professional comics, hand lettering is a separate job from inking the artwork. It's a whole job by itself. has a nice selection of free to use fonts, I use Anime Ace 2.0 for most of my dialog.

>White streaks in the art are semi-intentional.
I actually really like the look of the colouring, it adds a touch of texture, and gives it a hand made feel. Makes it more personal.

I was looking the gaps of colour specifically around the edge of the lineart. It gives the impression that it was hastily done, and white pixels around lineart is one of those things that viewers equate with shoddy colouring.

The panel borders look really heavy. If you want a darker tone for the comic, this may actually be a good thing. So, take it as you will.
>> No. 107434
File 133861304863.png - (1.41MB , 876x2475 , adrenalinerushlinedraft.png )
It is obvious that I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'm having fun playing with the markers, anyway...

I'll have to look for that book. I have nib pen of some kind that I monkeyed with for about an hour before putting it back in a drawer; I just need to convince myself to put in the time with it (do the whole "fill a page with arcs and circles and lines once a day until you learn to like it" thing).

I forget which font I tested out, but basically I've convinced myself that they make the art look worse by comparison, so I just used the "pen" tool on the lineart layer in SAI to ink. Frantic, crazy penmanship to go with frantic crazy lineart, I suppose.

Color on this is going to go on sloppy. One, because I'm liking the textured look (compare to the drawing of Twilight peeing on Trixie's hat further up the thread, that looks pretty much like the tutorial I learned a decade ago), and two, because I color sloppy because I have no patience.

(If I had a job in comics, I'd probably want to do breakdowns all day and nothing else. Letter? Color? Ink? Hell, let somepony else finish the pencils once I get the idea out of my head where it will leave me alone, and I can move on to the next half-baked notion.)
>> No. 107518
File 133868078749.png - (2.08MB , 885x2499 , adrenalinerushlinedraft.png )
1. This is taking too long for my ADD addled mind.
2. I have no clue what i'm doing, but I'm having way too much fun with the markers in Paint Tool SAI.

I've found what works best for me is a bottom layer with the "flats", the basic color of the area.

Then a layer on top of that with a bristly white marker to texture things up a bit. Then spot highlights and shadows with deeper and lighter shades of the base color. For bodies I've been smoothing it over with a light touch of the base color on spread, for eyes and hair I like it better all bristly.

A third layer for a black marker on spread to deepen shadows as needed. Black seems to blend itself out of existence on a layer with other colors.
>> No. 107520
I actually like how the coloring is turning out. You do use "a little accident" three times in the last panel, though.
>> No. 107521
That was intentional to set up for the final "accident" that RD is accused of. The joke isn't anything that's going to make my mama proud, but it needed something to keep from having to end on a fainting RD.
>> No. 107536
"Comedy always happens in threes." It's, like, a law.

It's a beautiful setup, too, since the third "accident" uses a completely different definition of the phrase. The first two instances establish a pattern, creating a sudden and unexpected redirection in the line of thought when said pattern is broken by the third instance.

At the same time, the identical phrasing creates a tangible self similarity, that juxtapose the literal meaning of the first with the metaphorical application of the third.

This juxtaposition is only underscored by the severity of the first two instances, which entail grievous injury and life threatening harm, with the absurdity and humiliation of the third instance, which entailed Dash dropping a few road apples and probably a gallon of apple cider.

(Also, you notice how I was all serious and intellectual in the first two paragraphs, and resorted to crude metaphors for bodily wastes in the third? This juxtaposition of presumptuous elitism and low-brow euphemisms creates a...)
>> No. 107625
File 133876020119.png - (2.28MB , 876x2475 , adrenalinerushlinedraft.png )
I couldn't have put it better myself. I tip my top hat and monocle to you, sirrah.

Continuing to spam with the WIP, because it makes me feel like something's getting done. Four and a half panels to go...I think we're at the halfway mark.

Apparent tips to coloring like me:
Texture ALL the things. Then texture that, then smooth it over with a bit of base color or white, and retexture on top of that.

Paying attention to light sources is for chumps.
>> No. 107653
File 133878221492.png - (2.57MB , 876x2475 , adrenalinerushlinedraft.png )
Home stretch! Might actually finish this this week.

I'm getting a Golden Books Storybook vibe from the colors, and that pleases me greatly.
>> No. 107791
File 133886785958.png - (3.90MB , 1062x3000 , PinkiePieInAdrenalineRushByObsequiosity.png )
My Magnum Opus (or Magnum Equus if you will), she is complete.

What started out as a goofy sketch to amuse myself and check my understanding of story layout, turned into a multiple week study of Paint Tool SAI and how to use the vector layers and the markers.

Anypony see any absolutely horrible "you need to fix this before you embarrass yourself any more than you did spending two weeks to tell a bad joke" mistakes, let me know before I start attention horsing this thing out.

(It's kinda sad when your life's ambition is "EQD Drawfriend", but we all need something to strive for, I suppose.)
>> No. 107793
"Idiot's Guide to Tripping Hazards"

Overall, I enjoyed it. The coloring is great, but (incoming opinion) I find the eye coloring slightly weird. Whatever. I want to see more comics with this kind of humor.
>> No. 107896

RD in particular is fixes on top of tweaks on top of kludges, but the eyes were definitely something I was experimenting with settling for "different than the model" over "looks good".
>> No. 107932
>(It's kinda sad when your life's ambition is "EQD Drawfriend", but we all need something to strive for, I suppose.)
I don't know about drawfriend, but I submitted a comic and it got posted, like, that day... wasn't even exactly my best work. It could be that it was funny enough that they didn't care, but I'm pretty sure the standards for comics aren't as insurmountable as the ones for, say, fanfics.
>> No. 107940
EqD accepts the strangest work. Ive had my most terrible work accepted to dA (10 minute drawings) without them being submitted, but my best work declined when I submit it. After the first time it loses its charm, but the extra attention from drawfriends is really nice. You'll get there eventually, but don't think more time invested or best quality will get you drawfriend feature.
>> No. 108015
I spam them about once a week with my nicer/funnier stuff. I never make the cut. It's like, I don't take it personally, but I am amused by how much I notice the rejection anyway. There's a DA group called Ponytopia that I picked almost at random for my first submission for the "friendzone" comic and I was rejected in hours. (In hindsight most of the stuff there is way better than mine.) It still stings for reasons I can't fathom. I simultaneously don't care and yet somehow I still obsess over what could have been wring with it. I'm neurotic that way, I guess...
>> No. 108372
File 133930911832.png - (578.87KB , 600x774 , BovineBaristasMakeReallyFreshLattes.png )
Notebook full of ideas for things to draw, and all I feel like doing is inking old sketches.
>> No. 108409
File 133934211660.png - (563.46KB , 516x666 , BovineBaristasBannedBonus.png )
2nd panel especially, but in general it just came out kinda muddy (my shadow base marker was possibly too blue or not blue enough? I learned that there was such a thing as color theory about two weeks ago), but I'm too lazy to fix it.
>> No. 108734
File 133964461988.jpg - (154.20KB , 760x451 , 2012-06-13_21-53-39_564.jpg )
Anypony divined any secrets to drawing Cranky?
>> No. 109079
File 133999401676.png - (706.45KB , 635x869 , muffinbubble.png )
Going with a much simpler, less ambitious comic this time around, because ponies are hard enough without backgrounds.

Feel free to redline panel 3, which sucks and will likely be rebuilt at the linework stage, and if I could get some feedback on the dialogue flow in panel 4 (did you read it in the correct order on the first try?) that would be appreciated as well.
>> No. 109193
File 134013312495.png - (795.53KB , 750x1025 , muffinbubble.png )
Don't know why, but I've always liked the looks of inks with the underlying pencils still there. Defined enough to have clarity and strength, still vague and fuzzy enough to retain the energy and flowiness of the sketch.

Also: "WHY THE @#$% CAN'T I MAKE THIS UNICORN'S MANE LOOK SOFT ENOUGH!" is probably the least manly thing I have felt compelled to shout at the top of my lungs.
>> No. 109285
>Defined enough to have clarity and strength, still vague and fuzzy enough to retain the energy and flowiness of the sketch.
For the last eight years I've been trying to improve my inks, my single driving purpose has been to try and maintain the vitality and character of the pencil drawing. X3

Poor Derpy... Twilight just went and blew her little pony mind, didn't she? :3
>> No. 109289
File 134025429061.png - (481.11KB , 753x458 , muffinbubble.png )
Heh. Watching the movie Chasing Amy, I used to laugh at the joke about how the inker "just traces". Years later, I still laugh at the joke, but for an entirely different reason. Good inkers and letterers might as well be from a different planet than me. What they do can't be done.

Ever so slowly, color theory is starting to make sense to me. Today it dawned on me that all the shades of brown in Twilight's library contain a lot of her purple. One of them even pretty much *is* her purple hue, but a different saturation and value. I felt so much like a real artist when I realized that.

Then I messed with the background until it wound up that greyish brown "no color" my book says all newbies end up doing.

Eventually I stumbled on a more reddish brown that contrasted with the blue in the bubble.

I am stupidly proud of this panel. I could see a hue! And separate it from the value! Just like a real artist!
>> No. 109325
File 134030575501.png - (557.40KB , 816x556 , muffinbubble.png )
Actually, as I pulled out the color dropper, the hue's in those browns inside Twilight's tree are more red than purple. Just when I think I'm starting to make sense of this stuff...

More WIP.
>> No. 109434
File 134038994680.png - (1.19MB , 879x1336 , muffinbubble.png )
Attack of the return of the revenge of the WIP (I like spamming this thread with WIPs, it makes it feel like I'm getting something done even though I'm walking away from an unfinished drawing.)

Need to remember to add the hair from the back of her head to panel 5, or add dialogue about magic causing baldness...
>> No. 109590
File 134048161060.png - (830.87KB , 666x1012 , muffinbubble.png )
I'm not sure who is harder to shade: Rarity or Twilight. Twi is a ridiculous balancing act between harsh shadows and looking flat purple. Rarity breaks my still learning color-theory brain with "how do I shade white?"
>> No. 109596
Nice work. You did forget Derpy's cutie mark and wings.
And the bubble container doesn't have a humorous label! :(
>> No. 109814
HEH. I kinda intentionally left the cutie mark off out of laziness, but I had completely forgotten the wings. And you're the first person to notice.
>> No. 110732
File 134142869525.png - (379.01KB , 705x521 , UnintentionalBestFriendForever.png )
The final panel of the previous comic was originally going to be a wider shot. The pencil sketch compelled that it be finished out.

There are bits of this that I like (the color itself, proportions of greens and purples balancing out, that sort of thing), and bits that I wish I could redraw without having to redo the whole thing (Composition on Derpy is, well, derpy, so she just kinda floats off the ground. The cheating I do on the line art to "fade" it into the markers went a little too far on Derpy so she's lost detail.)

Anyone got any tips on how to make it look more...solid?
>> No. 110947
There's a lot of places where two overlapping objects have the same shade. Derpy's arm against her chest, for example, but also Derpy's face against Twilight. It makes the objects seem like they're on the same "level," which sort of flattens things. When I ran into this problem, I started making a "semi-final" pass when shading to touch up spots that needed bolder contrast. I also started using an darker-than-darkest shade in my colour palletes that I'd keep in reserve for bolding spots that were already the darkest shade I typically used. I dunno, might work for you.

There are a number of transmitted shadows, ie, an object casting a shadow on another object, with soft edges. These kinds of shadows have hard edges unless the light is being diffused. Sharp edged shadows mixed with soft edged shadows would help make things look solid. (as a note, soft edged shadows can be formed by curving surfaces, so it's possible to have both hard and soft shadows in a scene with one undiffused light source). Some ambient shadows on the ground beneath Derpy might make her look more like she's resting on it, too.

The lineart jumps between black and near white, which makes it harder to get a clear impression of the figure's overall shape and volume. That's probably making them seem less solid, too.

And, not that this has anything to do with anything, but this is an incredibly sweet and adorable shot. :3
>> No. 111094
Thanks. I think I see what you mean about objects in different planes having the same shade; I'll have to revisit the sketch later...
>> No. 111095
File 134178475826.png - (327.52KB , 964x701 , applepickintime granny on left.png )
"Why are you snickering, Vinyl? A paying gig is a paying gig, and the harmonic structure can actually get quite complex..."

...Oh, do shut up. You of all ponies should appreciate the addition of bass rhythm to a musical composition."

[Dialogueing this comic is going to be murder because I have no idea how to spell the noise Vinyl makes when she's laughing so hard she can't breathe.]

[I would pay all my bits to actually see Apple Bloom play that dobro while providing a baritone to complement Big Macintosh's high lonesome tenor while he belts out "Hoofprints in the Snow".]

[You can barely draw ponies and you went and added a 1949 GMC pickup, a rocking chair, and various musical instruments to attempt to draw in perspective. You fool. YOU FOOL. YOU THRICE-DAMNED FOOL!]

I realize this is more a giant fuzzy thumbnail than a rough sketch, but I'm happy to listen to any critique on general perspective/proportions. F'rinstance, I like my Big Macintoshes to be fairly imposing, but this one may be a touch *too big*.
>> No. 111119
File 134180376883.png - (554.34KB , 1157x841 , applepickintime granny on left.png )
Still time to tell me what's wrong with it before I take it too far...

Question for the group while I'm at it; sort of in the spirit of that big thread in meta: For an artist's "personal" thread, is it annoying for the artist to repeatedly spam with a WIP like I do?
>> No. 111131
File 134180787165.png - (313.18KB , 1920x1200 , 133075234919.png )
Errrm, nope. It's a great thing to do and it gives insight to your thoughts and techniques.
We're here to discuss and improve on our art. Helping eachother and sharing our experiences.
If we were here solely to show off how great we were, we might as well post on /pic/ or derpibooru or whatever.

Call me a fascist, but frankly I think anyone who would be annoyed with your posting of WIPs have severly misunderstood the purpose of this board and should be branded a "royal arsehat".
>> No. 111133
File 134180849791.png - (498.35KB , 1157x841 , Ss.png )
I drew circles that are about the size of their heads. Everyone has an ok sized head except for Big Mac, who's head is huge compared to everyone elses o.o idk if you meant for that but yeah :D
>> No. 111167
The side by side helps. It's a little bigger than intended. He's a draft horse, not a rhinocerous...
>> No. 111177
As far as I can make out, stallions like Big Macintosh and Shining Armour have heads the same size as anypony else. Their noses are a blockier and slightly longer, but that's about it.

Same for fillies like Applebloom. Their eyes are a heck of a lot bigger, but their heads are about the same size as an adult's (I'm not 100% certain about this, tho, I haven't been able to find conclusive references).

Tho, at some point in the show, fillies got scaled up in height from 2 heads tall to 2.5. I think they didn't change the proportions, though, which means the heads got scaled up too. So, fillies may actually have bigger heads than adults now (again, conclusive reference is hard to find).

'Course, this only matters if you actually care about show accuracy.

That's a great truck, by the way. I love the classics, and the foreshortening is sweet. :3
>> No. 111197
Huh. I had noticed that the fillies were changing somehow, but I hadn't noticed the proportions.

I'm working on downsizing Big Mac (and to a lesser extent, AJ; she should be ever so slightly smaller than Octavia due to perspective.), he'll probably end up still being a little big by show canon just 'cause I like the idea that he's overgrown for a pony.

The truck foreshortened so well because it is drawn as close to the photo reference as I could manage. I found one from a decent angle with a nice patina of rust and wear on it and decided I'd just use it to set where my horizon belongs and build the rest of the picture around it. It should prove challenging to color if I stay ambitious as I was when I planned this all out.

(All bluegrass albums involve the band looking sternly while wearing suits and ties and holding their instruments either in front of a bus, a vintage car, or possibly a barn. I assume Equestria has a similar tradition, but when Applebloom started smiling and waving, I had to let AJ crack a grin, too.)
>> No. 111211
File 134189223554.jpg - (617.47KB , 600x3962 , 130821084263.jpg )
This might help.
>> No. 111239
File 134198097236.png - (467.49KB , 964x701 , applepickintime granny on left.png )
I love navel-gazing stuff like this for some reason. So beautifully analytical about something that no one should be analytical about. It scratches my aspy itch so well.

(Saved for future reference.)

Work continues, with a horrible misshapen mandolin...
>> No. 111570
My Meyers-Briggs type is INFP: I can't do anything until I understand the underlying principals and theory. Once I have it figured out, tho, I can do crazy things. Like the time I figured out a way to freehand draw a stellated dodecahedron. Accurately.

..Of course, this means I have to go all analytical for even the simplest things. Anime-style eye-shines still elude me.

I ramble though.

I love AB's guitar, nice detail on the pick guard.
>> No. 111753
File 134233741508.png - (1.22MB , 1024x1015 , wip__apple_family_quartet__plus_one___pickin___time_by_obsequiosity-d56m2op.png )
This is probably my favorite pony art I've done so far. I may have to revisit it with just Granny Smith and banjo in higher detail. Now to actually draw the comic it belongs in...
>> No. 111785
On some surfaces, like AJ's jacket, the lightest areas have white mixed in. This usually only happens with reflective materials: with matte surfaces, the brightest areas will be the colour of the material itself.

The way I think of it is that with a shiny material, you see the colour material plus the light source's. With matte surfaces, you see the colour of the material only.

That's the tl;dr version: the actual physics can get pretty elaborate. There's also a subtle but significant difference between how smooth a surface is vs. how reflective the material is.

Also: Now I'm imagining Big Mac singing "Sweet Home Alabama," and it's stuck in my head... thank you so very much. X3
>> No. 111799
Someone busted my lazy pillow shading. I knew the top was facing the light source so what the hay, a little white with a touch of blue and there you are. I'll go look at some photo references. The truck and the instruments are mostly from photo with sloppy attempts to keep the light source in the same place, but I didn't bother with ponies or the coats and just winged it. (Ponies in coats and ties is adorable, by the way, I now want to draw Applejack in an FFA corduroy jacket so bad...)
>> No. 111820
File 134240695988.jpg - (2.30MB , 3264x2448 , 2012-07-15_21-25-45_406.jpg )
>draw sketch of pony looking shocked with a table drawn too low for the undrawn chair.
>draw sketch of pony grinning on the brink of laughing not quite capturing the expression
>did my subconscious just draw Vinyl leering at Octavia's backside?
>> No. 112220
File 134274394031.png - (2.90MB , 2858x1417 , pickintimealbumcovr side by side.png )
Tweaks are on the right. Better or too harsh on the contrasts?

Learned a neat trick with a layer of black on saturation mode to flip a picture back and forth into greyscale. Works great in Gimp, but can't figure out if it can be done in SAI. Which is a shame, because I was really comfortable in SAI. If anyone knows how to make that work, I owe you one...
>> No. 112233
The pale sky adds more depth, because it seems farther away.

Question: are you shading with black and grey?
>> No. 112235
File 134275049965.png - (1.54MB , 2858x1417 , pickintimealbumcovr side by sidebw.png )
The sky I was hemming and hawing about because I like the look of the sky by itself more in the original, but I like the darker sky makes Applejack pop out a bit more. In hindsight, maybe I just need to go heavier in values on Applejack to build that contrast...

Generally speaking, I have a flat color I start with to fill the field. Then I was taking that color and cranking up the saturation to build shadows.

For those times when cranking up the saturation still didn't look "dark" enough on cast shadows, I'd add in a little dark blue.

Looking at the picture in black and white made me think I needed to vary my values more, so for the flatter characters I started taking my flat color and dropping the value down some.
>> No. 112240
File 134275167612.png - (2.00MB , 1429x1417 , pickintimealbumcovrtweaked.png )
"If you don't quit picking at that, it's never going to heal..."
>> No. 112270
There's hue as well. Orange and blue are complimentary, so they contrast well. Orange is also a much warmer colour than blue. Both of these things are lost in grayscale.

It's looking really good, by the way. :3
>> No. 113547
File 134395407611.png - (1.04MB , 800x1166 , shebringsthebass.png )
Got way too ambition with this one. All that work on that background in the first panel, and I can't decide if the other panels would be too cluttered with one.

How in the heck do you do expressions on a pony who wears sunglasses all the time? How do you get her to push those sunglasses up with a horn and spiky hair in the way?

Accepting crits on layout (is the tetris piece panel too hokey?), expressions (especially the big panel--I don't think it sells the "I didn't think anyone would ever see that, I was young and stupid and needed the bits"), dialogue (again, big panel is clunky, trying to transition from *Octavia bullshits about bluegrass* to *Octavia admits defeat in face of evidence*) whether the bowtie makes her look fat, the works.
>> No. 113692
File 134414045431.jpg - (1.10MB , 3264x1840 , 2012-08-04_23-12-13_355.jpg )
If you were to start amassing a pile of reference material of real animals to use for pony art reference, what animal would you use? I'm not entirely sure the best answer is pony...
>> No. 113720
File 134418450483.png - (855.71KB , 800x1166 , shebringsthebass.png )
Tweaking. Did it get better or worse?

I probably start painting in earnest on Monday, so now's the time to save me from my own horrible composition skills...
>> No. 113743
File 134420887478.png - (294.57KB , 558x562 , octavia panel one detail.png )
Jumped the gun and started painting anyway.

I dare say I'm starting to get to a point in my paint where It's not abominable. I'm ridonkulously proud of how this is turning out.
>> No. 113957
File 134448101221.png - (1.36MB , 998x1600 , _wip____she_brings_the_bass_by_obsequiosity-d59lqum.png )
Had two whole days off from work. Guess how much I got done on this? Absolutely nothing.

Instead I got stoned on Sudafed and watched reruns of The Mentalist and Criminal Minds until I can no longer trust other people not to murder me when my back is turned. I think sinus medication makes me paranoid. That, or there's a conspiracy to make me think that.
>> No. 114250
File 134491577859.png - (787.12KB , 1385x835 , shebringsthebass.png )
Trying to paint "lineless"; all areas defined by value rather than line art.
I have no idea what I'm doing.
Kinda fun though.
>> No. 114328
>I have no idea what I'm doing.
Developing as an artist is all about experimenting, and pushing the limits of your comfort zone... if you know what you're doing, you're doing it wrong. :3

What kind of colouring method do you use? How does your process go?
>> No. 114374
Paint Tool Sai, paint brush tool, round brush on bristle and paper both around 30%. Turned off pressure controls for everything but size. Lay down a flat with a color picked from official art. Use HSV sliders to turn value and saturation up up for shadows and down for highlight. Generally all on one layer, though for Vinyl's hair I moved it to its own layer because I kept picking up grass color by accident. I like how Octavia turned out, but I'm having difficulty getting the nose and cheeks all separated out on Vinyl in panel two. And only six more ponies after that one...
>> No. 114376
The shading on Octavia still has that "lazy pillow shading" look to it. You can't really "redline" shading, but I could take a shot at rendering her myself for the same purpose as a redline. If you like, that is.

Octavia's mouth is rather close to the bottom of her chin, even considering her expression.

The mouths in your drawings often have three distinct lines: upper lip, lower lip, and a vertical side. It looks unnatural, since it creates a second set of corners for the mouth, and they have an almost-but-not-quite similarity to dimples. The facial expressions still come across fine, tho.

>Generally all on one layer...
You, sir, are my kind of artist. :3

When you colour lineart do you still do everything on one layer?
>> No. 114424
I'd *love* to see your own rendering of Octavia.

I'm actually half tempted to put this work aside and just replicate a preexisting painting so I can paint while knowing where I want to end up. (Like deconstruct/reconstruct Harwick from DeviantArt's ponies playing poker or something...)

My old color setup was this:
Lineart on a layer, vectors get rasterized and lockbopacity so I can tweak line color.
Flat colors on their own layer using Pen tool.
Shade layer between flat and lineart using marker tool. Marker does some stuff with blending and pressure that was getting in the way of my understanding so I'm dropping back to plain old paint this time around.
Background was generally on its own layer. I'm trying that on the same layer as characters and props this time, may be one place where the separate layer is truly helpful.

The weird three line mouths are probably built off me looking in the mirror, I don't smile so much as smirk.
>> No. 114452
File 134517502004.png - (1.25MB , 770x1176 , Pinkie_and_SUPPLIES.png )
Someone was asking for Pinkie and Surprise pics. I didn't sketch fast enough.

Kept doodling and wound up with some sort of G1/G3 looking Pinkie that I like very much for no particular reason at all.
>> No. 114583
File 134533220712.png - (0.99MB , 1624x904 , rarity study.png )
If you want to learn how to paint, you copy the Old Masters. If you want to learn how to pony, you copy Harwick:

The hair is nowhere near finished, I've just kinda blocked in the general shapes. I was focusing on the face because I'm trying to progress beyond the "pillow shading" that I seem to fall back to.

What I've learned so far:
I need to learn some sort of brush control. I can gesture and suggest with a huge brush, but tightening it down to the nigh-photorealism that Harwick seems to get is eluding me unless I zoom in to ridiculous levels. (Maybe those levels aren't as ridiculous as I think?)

I also keep rocketing back and forth past the value I want, the shadows flipping between too harsh and too subtle. Currently I just have almost black and almost white as my only two colors and I try to blend them to get what I want. Maybe I just need to set up my pallet with 10 different shades of gray and work that way?
>> No. 114595
File 134533804478.png - (0.96MB , 1624x904 , rarity study.png )
Better or worse?
>> No. 114596
File 134533917545.png - (0.96MB , 1624x904 , rarity study.png )
<Skwissgar>I thinks he is slowly unlearnings how to paints the ponies.</Squigelf>
>> No. 114598
File 134534142417.png - (1.17MB , 1624x904 , rarity study.png )
Did you know that if you have something painted in black in white, you can lay in the world's laziest flat colors on top of that in a separate layer set to overlay and then just move around the hue sliders to make like 18,000 OC variations?

Of course you did; you're not an idiot. I, however, am amused as if I have discovered my backyard has had a theme park in it the whole time.
>> No. 114616
Today's new favorite thing:
Pony Painting Time Lapse Videos (Who knew?)

While I'm endorsing other people's YouTubings, there's a great video in that stack from Feng Zhu that I think would really help the newbies wrap their head around drawing methods. Probably would have saved me years of working it out for myself:!

The really good part kicks in around 5:20 and bleeds into the next video a bit.

(Y'know, if I actually painted and drew as often as I watch other people paint and draw, or read books about how other people paint and draw, I could probably paint and draw pretty good...)
>> No. 114628
File 134540382496.png - (959.49KB , 1039x786 , shebringsthebass line vs no line.png )
See attached. Line vs no line.

The table kinda feels like it can stand on its own. The ponies, I feel like the shapes in the bottom need more separation, but don't quite get what needs to happen to make it look less Monet and more Vermeer.
>> No. 114999
Comic idea I'll never use that I donate unto the aether: Pony in dreds that is obviously into ska, debating intensely with Vinyl Scratch on whether one should drop it or pick it up pick it up pick it up...
>> No. 115004
Note to self: Rasta Pie.
>> No. 115027
File 134595360973.png - (206.39KB , 1000x1000 , SpiritShine OBJECTION.png )
if you feel like shapes need more separation, you you try adding a darker shadow or lighter highlight were it it due and just blend that in
>> No. 115099
That's what I thought; just having a hard time figuring out what's a darker shadow and what's me just redrawing the line. Plus I seem to have a sledgehammer eye when judging values, so when I finish, everything is way higher contrast than intended.

It is ridiculously so much easier to replicate someone else's picture than to do one from scratch.
>> No. 115253
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>> No. 115254
Oops meant to type stuff first, but I was just so happpy with that rough sketch. I swear, premature AppleJack elation has never happened to me before... Er, uh. Anyway I started the sketch bucking against a tree, screwed up the perspective and anatomy and suddenly she was facing the other direction as a not-that-horrible sketch. Yay, serendipity...
>> No. 115372
File 134665420222.png - (1.87MB , 800x1095 , charcoal twi and tara.png )
Trying something new.

I find that I enjoy charcoal, but it is not a forgiving media. I like how Twilight turned out, but I had the darnedest time with that somewhat Tara Strong-like object.

Also, I need to quit drawing things larger than my scanner. Had to crop off some edges and the top of her head.

Loosely based on
The goofy Renaissance style drawing of Clarice from Silence of the Lambs, because if anyone has a dark enough sense of humor to find something like that funny, it'd be Tara. (I adore her work on Drawn Together.)

It's probably too obscure for her to get the reference, though; so asking for her autograph while using the phrase "quid pro quo" would just come across even creepier than it already is. Besides, that likeness is awful. Did I mention that charcoal is an unforgiving medium?
>> No. 115472
File 134688552614.png - (1.69MB , 600x1784 , apple_bloom_learns_the_family_business_by_obsequiosity-d5dpzg4.png )
I realy enjoy working in charcoal, even thought I don't seem to be particularly good at it...

(The apple trees in MLP *are* really thick for apple trees. The Zap Apple trees are slightly more realistic, but still pretty stout. And applewood smoked pork is delicious. My headcanon cannot be refuted.)
>> No. 115478
File 134689757297.png - (959.33KB , 862x600 , Dramatic Charcoal Applejack small.png )
More charcoal. It really is a medium for sloppy sketchers who have sledgehammer subtlety in their values and contrasts. I dig that.
>> No. 115484
File 134691340893.png - (185.70KB , 637x513 , windy_oak.png )
>It really is a medium for sloppy sketchers who have sledgehammer subtlety in their values and contrasts.
My rebuttal:
Sloppy? Indeed, and deliciously so. Sledgehammer? Surely you jest. I mean, subtlety in value is practically what charcoal is legendary for.

Liking the charcoal work, by the way. Looking forward to more.

>(Maybe those levels aren't as ridiculous as I think?)
Depends, I guess. I rarely need to zoom in more than 200%, though I do work with 800dpi scans. So.... 8x scans and 2x magnification comes out to about 1600% zoom, hypothetically>>115254

>Maybe I just need to set up my pallet with 10 different shades of gray and work that way?
I use five, and work like this:
-Lay down a kind of cel shaded look using the middle three shades.
-If a material is glossy, lay down highlights with the brightest shade.
-Eyedropper one area of shade, and blend it into adjacent shades with a brush set to 50% opacity.
-Wash, rinse, repeat: eyedropper the blended shade, blend that into adjacent shades. Keep going till it looks smooth.
-If some shadows need some extra definition, I use the darkest of the five shades to add weight. It's a "darker than dark" shade that I keep in reserve.

>Yay, serendipity...
This is what we call "happy accidents," and they are truly epic moments indeed. :3
>> No. 115528
Hey, he's back. Do what ya gotta do to keep from burning out, but know that you are always welcome to pick my drawings apart. :3

Good point with the blending on the tree, I guess the sledgehammer is more me than media. I do love that I can go full on 255 black with a stick of charcoal, though.

Harwick (dude is a class act) told me that he blends with the smudge tool to get his transitions; I haven't tried it yet in SAI, but given what I do with scraps of paper in charcoal it makes sense...
>> No. 115549
This one made it to a comic update on EQD! Oddly enough it's probably one of the few I didn't pester them about myself.

It's an enjoyable little rush to get three month's worth of DA views and comments in two hours, even if it is for what I consider a mediocre work.
>> No. 115551
Buckin' A, man! Seriously, you deserve it. :3
>> No. 115707
File 134724428226.png - (2.21MB , 1200x935 , spoiler.png )
Grazie. The thing about pony drawings is you want to share them, but there are just so many other much better artists out there sharing as well (Did anypony see Harwick's Applejack in the Rain? Holy crow...). Felt good to get a little of that energy and enthusiasm thrown my way. In the words of an ancient song:

On to the pic: Rough sketch that I wouldn't show if the joke didn't make my inner nerd chuckle.

Vine charcoal and toothy, toothy paper makes for thick lines. Think I like the compressed charcoal sticks better, but there is some potential in here.

Needs more shadow on Pinkie and Spike, but I don't think I can do it without obliterating it.

(I knew a girl who could drink you under the table with Dewey Decimal Trivia knowledge. It's a skill that is sexy as hell.)
>> No. 115708
I don't remember clicking Spoiler. Mysteeeeerious... *wiggles fingers*
>> No. 115725
Of course Spike would know the Dewy Decimal for shorthand... he's the only one in the cast that has hands. :3

The shading on the background seems arbitrary, as the shadows avoid the figures. It also makes the image look flat, since the similarity in shade puts the figures on the same "level" as the wall. Blending in some lighter gray for the wall would fix this.

> The thing about pony drawings is you want to share them, but there are just so many other much better artists out there sharing as well
Supply and demand.... there's plenty of viewers to go around. :3

A decent piece of art takes days to draw, and seconds to look at. At a ratio of days to seconds, it would take 60x60x24=86400 artists producing work to keep a viewer constantly engaged. And, ravenous content junkies they are, we really are talking constantly.

(Fortunately, once a piece of art is drawn it can be shown to multiple viewers, so those 86.4K artists could keep any number of viewers entertained.)

(It can be argued that viewers won't spend all their time looking at art, as they will have to occasionally work jobs, play videogames, and sleep, but artists have to take time to do the same (in theory, at least, not so much in practice), so the ratios balance out.)

(Also bearing in mind that, taking into account age groups, art styles, fandoms, etc., that's 86.4K artists for each demographic of viewers. The MLP fandom has many genres, from grimdark to shipping to crossovers to memes, each of which has it's own body of artists and viewers. Let's hear it for niche markets!)

Considering that "good" artist can take weeks, not days, to produce "good" pieces, I'm pretty sure there's no shortage of eyeballs for the intermediate artists, too. :3

>(Did anypony see Harwick's Applejack in the Rain? Holy crow...)
You know... I can never really get worked up about Harwick's work. I mean, it's well made, but there's not much variety, so it gets monotonous rather quickly. It really makes me wonder how flexible he is, as an artist.

>Vine charcoal and toothy, toothy paper makes for thick lines.
>Needs more shadow on Pinkie and Spike, but I don't think I can do it without obliterating it.
Here's a question... how large do you draw?

Also: I use a one of these, sharpened with a conventional razor-blade pencil sharpener, for getting into tight spots (a kneaded eraser pinched to a point works as well). Charcoal tends to smudge everywhere, adding a shade of light gray to everything. This can be turned to an advantage: erasing select areas will make a nice hot white.

One of the tricky things about charcoal is that it's not quite drawing, which emphasizes pure line, and it's not quite painting, which is more a matter of filled shapes and areas. To get the most of out of charcoal, you sort of have to think in terms of drawing lines and shading areas simultaneously, and more often than not the "lines" need to be treated as long, thin shapes. Sorry if this sounds really vague, it's kinda hard to describe. X3

At any rate... I talk too much.
>> No. 115731
> The shading on the background seems arbitrary, as the shadows avoid the figures.

Guilty. About the only thought that went into the background black was "direct eye toward Pinkie's book" and "obliterate horribly drawn lower torso of Twilight."

Really didn't think much on light source, Pinkie looked lit from upper left so I ran with it.

The entire drawing is an 8 by 11; if I was to start over I'd go bigger on characters and sacrifice background. (Each panel on the comic was letter size on Bristol. My scanner barely handles letter; it's a pain. Next bonus/Christmas/tax rebate I think I'm going to spring for one that does A4 or 3 or whatever the 17 inch paper is...)
>> No. 115735
>I think I'm going to spring for one that does A4 or 3
I've been meaning to do the same... most of the A3 (which is apx. 11x17 in.) scanners I've seen are either several thousand bucks, or have... mixed reviews, to put it mildly.

Hey... if you do get one of the bajillion dollar models, you'll let me borrow it, right? :3
>> No. 115857
>You know... I can never really get worked up about Harwick's work. I mean, it's well made, but there's not much variety, so it gets monotonous rather quickly. It really makes me wonder how flexible he is, as an artist.

I can see that. I think he's a pro who's doing his stuff in the same style he does for his day job.
I mainly love his mastery of value. Drop the color and he has drawn almost perfect black and white photographs of Ponyville. I think other artists do hair better, but the shading on their skintones... I don't know if he does grisaille paintings first and then overlays, but it sure feels like he does. I covet that quality.

I'll probably roll the dice on the lower-end Mustek that people either love or hate. Depth-of-focus doesn't matter to me since I'm scanning pencils, and I'm not that worried about perfectly replicated color. Plus, eking what I want out of lackluster software is a large part of my day job. I think I could live with it...
>> No. 115871
>I mainly love his mastery of value.
I don't see it, I really don't see it. I look at the shadows, and they seem like style over substance. I'll admit, the guy is good with his technique, but that's about all.

I'm probably not going to budge on this one, sorry... I could explain my reasons, but if it's all the same, I'd rather just drop the subject.

Yeah, I'm thinking that myself. ~200$ isn't really too much to take a gamble on. I paid 400$ for a tablet, I can do at least that much for a scanner. :3

>lackluster software
I think the Mustek scanners are TWAIN compliant... if so, the packaged software shouldn't be necessary. I hope.
>> No. 115899
Eh, wasn't trying to change your mind. Just pointing out the thing that I like about it. At the moment one of the things I want to do is render with values rather than defining with lines. He does that. (Plus I have a soft spot for the C.M. Coolidge homage because I have a soft spot for C.M. Coolidge.)
>> No. 115911
>Just pointing out the thing that I like about it.
Yeah, understandable... I was just pointing out what I thought in reply.

And then, you know, you make another observation, and then I feel obligated to repspond, and everyone's saying that "[they're] just sayin'", and before you know it there's this oh-so-very passive flamewar of polite observations going on back and forth that just won't die.

...Seriously, how the buck do you withdraw from those conversations gracefully? X3

I ramble... BTTSBFM.
>> No. 115930
No malice intended or percieved. I just respect your opinion and really enjoy the "shop talk"; there's a sterility to his work in places that I think you might be reacting to and was hoping you could articulate why better than my own "He uses the default photoshop brush and tightens down *everything* to the point it no longer looks hand made."

Also, love me the hell out of dogs playing poker.

Oh, and I think the traditional way to end those kind of conversations is to state that you are at an impasse and respectfully agree to disagree, then imply that you've had intercourse with their mother.
>> No. 115978
>there's a sterility to his work in places that I think you might be reacting to and was hoping you could articulate why better than my own "He uses the default photoshop brush and tightens down *everything* to the point it no longer looks hand made."
Wait... are we talking about Harwick, or Coolige now? :3

As much as I love to monologue about artistic theory, I prefer to keep a conversation strictly to the artist and their own work, so I-

Aw, who doesn't love a good roast? Lez do dis!

So. What can I say about Harwick.

For my first issue, you've pretty well hit the nail on the head already: the work is so polished that all the character has been ground out of it. While I can respect his diligence and refinement, I can't say it's very interesting to look at. No personality. No expression. No feeling. That's bland.

How does it come out looking like that? By spending way too much time working way too close up.

Harwick's lighting is entirely localized. Each individual square inch has exactly the right amount of light that it "should" have. On the upside, this does a very good job of defining the physical shape of an object. On the other hand, it looks incoherent, because while it all makes sense locally, it doesn't make sense on a larger scale. For example: an individual object may look properly rendered, but objects don't cast shadows on other objects.

This also causes problems for general aesthetics and composition. For example, in the railings and filigree are as bright as Rarity, and so are some of those gifts (Also, considering her usual fare, I'm surprised Rarity is getting all sexy-face over such trinkets. Her scraps bin probably has better swag than that. Maybe she's just totally sloshed right now). The image doesn't have a central focus, because the eye keeps getting pulled every which way. The sense of depth is all over the place: despite the solid architectural shapes of the stairway and wall, Rarity's bright white coat pulls her closer to the viewer, and the highlight on the vase in the background does the same. The railing is all the same value, so it looks flat rather than coming forward.

So... even though the lighting on Rarity and her dress looks right, and the lighting on the railing with its shiny filligree looks right, and the highlight on the vase looks right, the image as a whole looks like a mess because none of these elements are working together to create a coherent image.

I have a similar issue with the musketeers pic (aside from that fact that Rarity totally should have been Porthos): The figures have bold shading that seems discordant with the bright background. Also: The sky and grass in the background have high saturation, while the trees are pretty gray, which confuses the sense of depth even more (high saturation seems closer to the viewer than low saturation, due to atmospheric scattering). Even though the individual figures would look good individually, they seem like they were rendered separately and plopped onto a background without much regard or forethought as to how the scene should look as a whole.

Now, let's take a look at Coolidge's His Station and Four Aces (brief intermission while you go Google it up... dum de dum-dum dumm...). Most of the characters are wearing tan coats, but their faces have white and darker brown fur. The background and furnishings are reddish brown, with some complimentary green. By doing this, Coolidge makes it easy to look at the image: it's easy to pick out the figures against the background, and it's easy to pick out the faces of the figures. You can take in the whole thing at a glance. At the same time, all the colours go well together, which makes the figures and background all go well together.

The only thing that really stands out is the conductor, with his blue coat and gray fur (note that the fur matches his coat the same way the player's fur matches their coats). This makes him seem to not belong with the rest of the scene, an outsider, which very subtly implies that he has only just entered the room and is not part of the poker game... funny thing: he's a train conductor, he's less of an "outsider" in this place than the players. The dog taking off his hat and setting aside his cane still seems like part of the group of players, even though he hasn't even played any poker yet.

Something else: The wall behind the table is in shadow. Since there's some space between the wall and the table, there's no why it couldn't be lit up. By keeping it in shadow, the table "lifts off" of the wall in the background. Compare to Harwick's pic of Rarity: the shadows on her skirt are almost the same shade as the background behind her, which puts them on the same "layer," and her white coat seems to be on the same "layer" as the railing, even though the railing comes much farther forward.

Dramatic lighting can create a sense of depth, but Harwick's use of lighting destroys it. By lighting everything in high contrast, all the elements in Harwick's work compete for your attention, rather than work together to smoothly direct it. Art with chiaroscuro lighting, which is very high contrast, often has only one subject that's boldly lit, and leaves the rest of the scene in shadow, specifically to avoid creating the kind of chaos.

In shots like The Fires of Friendship and The Mare Numbium Sets Sail, the high contrast rendering makes it much, much harder to take in the image at a glance. The dark parts of the characters drop into the background, which means you "loose" half the character, and as a result the lit parts are just confusing because you don't have an immediate impression of the entire figure. Unlike Coolidge's work, you have to stop and look at each element to sort out what and where everything is.
>> No. 115980
Now... for an example of what I think good lighting looks like, take a look at this: (Note: I despise pokemon on general principals... for no reason at all, really... so the fact that I'm using one as an example says how much I like this artist). Here's a step-by-step rundown of the the process for it: Notice how much mid-tone there is: bold light and shadow are used in moderation, as are hues.

The eye is first drawn to the luminous tail due to it's high contrast and hue, is then directed toward the outstretched wing, then follows that up the arm to the head, then goes down the far wing-arm back to the tail, creating a clear path for the eye to travel as it looks over the image. Since the eye starts low and travels upward, the head seems elevated and lofty.

Then, after you've taken in the figure as a whole, you're free to wander over the discreet muscular and anatomical details, the illuminated smoke, the vaporous clouds... since they're rendered in subtle values, they don't draw your attention before you've finished looking at the overall figure. Creating a hierarchy of information like this presents the image clearly to the viewer, while still giving sufficient detail to casually contemplate and appreciate for a while afterward.

Coolidge created a hierarchy of information too: The whole scene, the setting and background within the scene, the figures within the setting, and the faces of the figures. The conductor was part of the scene as a whole, but not part of the setting or background, implying that he's from a different place, and exernal element. The image also has points of focus and subtler details: the faces stand out due to the high contrast dark-brown-on-white, while the trenchcoats have all kinds of texture and detail that's less striking. The points of focus also lead the eye around: The conductor comes out first, due to his unique hue, he's gaze leads you left to the standing figure, and his gaze leads you to the table itself and the seated individuals. After you're done looking at the players, moving left to right, you're back at the conductor again.

Harwick's work has no such subtleties, as everything is either rendered in high contrast or not worth rendering. Nor is there a hierarchy of information: everything is rendered in the same high contrast values, so nothing takes priority over anything else. None of the features are smoothly grouped into distinct and recognizable forms: the ponies in the musketeer pic have outfits with wildly varying values and hues, unlike Coolidges dogs in His Station. His compositions and points of focus fail to lead the eye around the page.

The result is a cacophony of information for the eye to sift through. Once you've sifted through it, and sorted out what and where everything is, there really isn't any reason to linger. Contemplating Kittiara's or Coolidge's work is a leisurely pleasure, while contemplating Harwick's work is a laborious effort just to determine what the buck you're looking at before moving on immediately.

Now, back when I was in art college...

...By the way: that line is so pretentious, I hesitate to use it for anything less than the most dire of circumstances, so I hope you appreciate how severe this subject is and how seriously I take it...

...One of the things they really emphasized was to stay aware of the whole picture while we drew. Getting too caught up in the details was [/i]bad[/i]. An image is the sum of it's parts, so not only do you have to pay attention to each individual part, you have to keep tabs on how each individual part is fitting in with the whole (Have you ever finished a drawing, only to realize that something is, like, twice as big as it should be? Yeah, that).

Over-focus is the mark of an amateur, and that's the impression I get from Harwick's work. I will admit, it's a hard habit to break, and one that most people simply aren't aware of, but it still comes off looking like carelessness.

This also means that each element in Harwick's work is unaffected by any other elements, because they're all dealt with separately (working on one spot at a time). None of the objects cast shadows on other objects: the figures in his Musketeer pic are rendered with bold, crisp lighting, but the shadows they cast on the ground are... well, crude, to put it mildly. Not only that, but the figures don't cast shadows on each other, nor do the very tall trees cast shadows on anything.

Next major point, the guy can't handle variety in materials. In all of his work everything is either shiny, or matte. That's why the hair doesn't look so good: it's rendered the same way metals are. The bodies of the ponies look like the same material as the fabrics. Everything looks like clay or plastic.

Anything other than solid objects are clumsily executed... particularly atmospheric elements like the magical auras around the levitating objects in Her Approving, or the (attempted) hazy lighting in Secrets of the Everfree, or the flaming branch in Fires of Friendship (which looks like a solid glob of lava, rather than fire. Speaking of that image, where the buck is Scootaloo?). Once again, they look "separate" from other elements in the scene. In Secrets, the characters look "pasted" into the scene. Hit the Showers has rain, and AJ looks wet, but considering the downpour we have a surprisingly clear view of the clouds in the distance. It looks like there was a layer of semi transparent rain plastered on top of the whole thing.

Speaking of things in the distance... not a lot of variety in the background layouts. Everything has the same extremely low horizon line, or something that approximates one... e.g.: in The Best Teacher We Could Hope For[i], the edge where the floor meets the wall; or in Ironclad Junebug, the edge of the mist. Even in the scenes where there is something in the background, like through the window in [i]Best Teacher or the watery pools of Fires of Friendship, the backgrounds look like matte paintings behind a set.

Now... this is a matter of perspective rather than rendering, so it might seem like I'm getting off topic. The thing is, this combines with the "visually separated objects" problem to further hurt the sense of place in the image. There's very little sense of open volume, of empty space. Again, no depth, everything looks flat.

So, in summary: Harwick only really does the one thing well (bold rendering), and even then, he doesn't really use that one thing very effectively. His exacting detail comes at the sacrifice of overall composition, an attitude that I find yields mediocre work at best.

Something I noticed about Hit the Showers: it uses much more subtlety in values than most of his other work. None of AJ gets lost in the background, either. Could be a sign that he's developing. However, the Feathers and Fur Study makes much heavy use of texture, but there isn't much of it in the work that follows work, so I'm hesitant to take one picture as the sign of actual growth. Looks like he prefers to stick to familiar territory, which is another amateurish habit.

You know how often I say "I talk too much?' All my posts start to look like this unless I forcibly cut myself off. X3

[?] Wow... I am never using Royal Canterlot Voice bluetext ever again.[/i]

>Also, love me the hell out of dogs playing poker.
Personally? I love the ballroom dancing scene. :3
>> No. 116080
Wish I had an insightful textwall to respond with.

This is inordinately helpful; I've always been very aware of hierarchy and composition when it comes to line art, but never connected the dots on color/lighting having the same requirements.

I still really want to learn how to do what he does with the smudge tool, but now I know what it is I'm not wanting to take away from it...

(Also, what is it with Deviant Art people who really have color theory down cold and drawing Pokeymans? One of my favorite tutorials is filled with Evees and Pikachus... Eerie.)
>> No. 116084
>I think he's a pro who's doing his stuff in the same style he does for his day job.
He is, in fact, a professional artist if I'm not mistaken.
>> No. 116085
>One of my favorite tutorials is filled with Evees and Pikachus... Eerie.)
this one?
>> No. 116087
>Wish I had an insightful text wall to respond with.
It's not as hard as it looks, actually. I just start with a first impression, and try to sort out what's causing it. The composition looks like crap, why? No clear points of focus. Why? The values aren't organized.

Getting that first impression is simple enough... sorting out the why takes work, but it's not like you have to be a genius to do it. You just need to apply some critical thinking, and a large vocabulary. And occasionally look up stuff on wikipedia. ("Wait a minute... what's the exact definition of parallax?")

Here's the trick, though... the more you do that critical thinking, the better at it you get, which makes you a better artist (the Wikipedia research helps too). Knowing something is one thing, being able to explain it to someone is a whole 'nother level. That's half the reason I'm so willing to do these gigantic slabs of critique for people: the process of doing it sharpens my abilities. I highly recommend it, you know, it's great for the gray matter.

>I've always been very aware of hierarchy and composition when it comes to line art,
Ah, see, if I'd known that, I could have cut down that text wall by a third, maybe. :3

When I write this stuff, I try not to make assumptions about what the artist does and does not know, so it tends to bloat up.

Me: "I love the ending for this comic, It has a real strong sense of catharsis and schadenfreude."
Artist "What does "catharsis" and "shadenfreude" mean?"
Me: (breif pause) "Okay, go get a bite to eat and something to drink, we're going to be here a while."

I've given up completely on trying to explain what "line intimation" is, it's impossible to get across clearly. And the concept of movement, which doesn't necessarily involve anything moving. X3

>never connected the dots on color/lighting having the same requirements.
There's a lot of stuff like that, actually. Kinda like how hue can be analogous to value in a lot of ways. Or thinking of the camera as a character, that's one of my favorites.

>I still really want to learn how to do what he does with the smudge tool
Oh, that's most definitely worth it. As I've said, I respect the guy's diligence, and he really has his methods down cold, it's just what he's doing with it that seems lackluster.

Smudge Tool, huh? That would do it. It does a great job of smoothing things out, but it doesn't let you do much anything else... that's why I use a brush of varying opacity and the eye-dropper to blend... as I've said before, I'm sure.

The problem with Harwick, I guess, is that he lets his tools limit him. You gotta use the right tool for the right job, and no matter how well you know one, single tool you aren't going to be able to do everything with it.

So, I say, yeah: learn the smudge tool. Just... don't stop there, am I right? :3

>(Also, what is it with Deviant Art people who really have color theory down cold and drawing Pokeymans?
i know exactly the tutorial you're talking about, and it's one of my favorites. :3

People follow the stuff they love. If someone loves colour theory and pokemon, that's what they're gonna do. Me, I love fundamental theory like perspective, anatomy, and storytelling, but I don't really care about refined line art, not on an emotional level, so I draw really comics except for the fact that they look like a complete wreck.

Anyway... I ramble now. It's 4AM, I should sleep.

Unless I'm sleeping right now, and this is a dream. In which case, I should wake up and write this post for real. Either way, in a few minutes, I'm going to be in bed and my netbook will be off.
Oh, and, I've decided to go for one of those Mustek A3 scanners. Dunno when I'll have the cash for it, tho.
>> No. 116105
Indeed, that would be the one. I recommend it to anyone. I have books that cram in less info than that tutorial.
>> No. 116953
File 134988995157.png - (0.99MB , 800x600 , derpy_charcoal_study_by_obsequiosity-d5hg7a1.png )
Attempt to render with value as opposed to line art. Needed more careful attention to proportion, lost something i.n the eyes that the original painting had. But not bad for a firsy attempt...
>> No. 117030
Why has it taken me three days to comment on this? Blarg, WhiteFox is worst brony. X3

The lighting on the face does a really nice job of implying shape, nice depth. I love that highlight on the eye, it really looks wet. The edge of the pupil could be sharper.

The lighting on the forelock looks really strong. It looks good for strong lighting, mind you, but the rest of the face doesn't seem as boldly lit.

And, I've said it before and I'll say it again... man, I loves me some good ol' charcoals. :3
>> No. 117073
There's the source I was ripping off. Really having trouble judging how dark the shadows on the dark side of the face need to go, even with a shopmade value wheel. Major construction issues on the dark side eye that come from rushing to the part I wanted to focus on. But I started getting in a zone for a while there and it felt good..
>> No. 117087
Weird. Totally just now noticed just how much wider I made the jaw compared to the original. Explains why the eye shapes were giving me fits...

Remember kids, construction first, *then* light and shadow...
>> No. 117093
"Kids?" Sadly, that lesson doesn't stick 'til someone is in their early twenties.

The shadows on the nose are rather abrupt, in >>116953 as well as the drawing it's after. If it's a round shape, it'll have a gradual blend.
>> No. 117123
File 135023470544.png - (1.05MB , 810x600 , Cmon_Squirt800by600.png )
>Sadly, that lesson doesn't stick 'til someone is in their early twenties
>early twenties
*cough* *cough*
(I am such an old geezer.)

I see what you mean on the nose. I don't think of the noses as perfect spheres, but really haven't made up my mind on what they should be. I've been tweaking it here and there and even put a basic sphere under the same light source off in the margins just to get a sense for what I'm doing. I'll have to try getting another photo to show those tweaks.

Meantime, another attempt.
Lessons learned:
* Bigger is better. This was standard letter paper and I was really having trouble with the highlights. Can only knead an eraser so small, and the white charcoal/pastel/whatever stick doesn't work as well as eraser... Also makes it much harder to get tight edges of an area of value. It's come out kinda soft-focus and blurry.

* Hierarchy, hierarchy, hierarchy. I keep trying to jump straight to the "fun" part without getting the basic sketch nailed down first, and I pay for it later on.

* Don't undersketch in HB pencil. Duh. (Last drawing was light 4H, and doesn't show through like this one.
>> No. 117126
File 135024024289.jpg - (5.01KB , 300x300 , eraser_stick.jpg )
>(I am such an old geezer.)
I can tell, you're coughing like one. :3

I don't think you get to to call yourself an old geezer, though, till you're almost 30. Like me.

>white charcoal/pastel
It could be conte, too. And, there's different kinds of pastel: usually soft pastel or oil pastel. I don't mean to split hairs, but the different media have significantly different qualities... particularly, how well they blend. Conte and soft pastel is harder to push around than white charcoal, and oil pastel doesn't like to move around at all.

I have two techniques for getting a nice, crisp edge: A semi-sharpened charcoal pencil, or a semi sharpened 4mm eraser stick (see pic). The only reason I carry a razor-blade pencil sharpener is to sharpen the eraser, actually. It's fun when I'm drawing in public, people look at me weird (kinda like making faces while I'm drawing expressions. I'm an artist, I'm allowed to look as eccentric as I like).

One reason to get a harder stick of charcoal, HB or 2B, is that it's less prone to smudging, so it holds a crisp edge better. It's not as dark, so I'll fill an area with softer charcoal, and outline it with something harder. The harder stuff is more resistant to erasing, too. If the lighter stuff smudges over the line, a gentle application of the kneaded eraser will pick up the softer charcoal without taking away so much of the line.

>Don't undersketch in HB pencil. Duh. (Last drawing was light 4H, and doesn't show through like this one.
I do undersketches with a hard charcoal pencil. Graphite is kinda slick, so sometimes the charcoal doesn't like to "stick" to the paper where there's graphite. Graphite's also shinier, so it'll show through in odd ways when I scan the work.

I notice that the tones in >>117123 and >>116953
range from medium to dark, or stark white. I learned a trick for getting very light values, around 80% and up: a coarse, hog-bristle paint brush, large and/or small. On a spare sheet I'll grind a piece of charcoal till I get a little powder, and pick it up with the brush. You can get some really nice, wispy strokes, or a smooth area of even tone. Having light and medium-light tone really makes the hot-white areas jump out.

They sell charcoal powder for just this purpose... I have a jar of powdered graphite, but I'm not allowed to use it in the house because it gets everywhere. X3

Option B is to very lightly draw some sparse lines in charcoal, and blend them to an even fill.

I just blending stump or tortillion in >>116953. I highly recommend one, they're great for getting into tight spots (Unlike a wad of tissue... which does have it's own uses). Plus, when they get dirty, you can use them to draw broad, lightly toned lines. Very useful for certain situations.

>This was standard letter paper
How much tooth did it have?

Anyway! I talk too much, I should get back to the sketchbook. Good to see you posting stuff again! ;3
>> No. 117136
Huh. So I *am* a geezer. Glad you young pups put up with me doddering around. And stay off my lawn.

I think it was white charcoal but really don't recall. It was in some discount variety pack of compressed charcoals. The q-tips were pulling double duty for the brush and tortillon; didn't take long to foul them up. My roll-your-own tortillons didn't hold up, and the brush idea never occurred to me. Will have to try those ideas, and maybe some charcoal pencils (although there's something about vine charcoal that is so delightfully "I am a bohemian Artist type").

Suppose it had been a while between posts. Day job was busy and those times I thought of posting the site was getting DDOSed...
>> No. 117137
Oh, and not a whole lot of tooth. Standard copy paper. Derpy was on "sketchpad" toothier stuff.
>> No. 117164
>My roll-your-own tortillons didn't hold up,
None of my four (store-bought) tortillions held up either... that's why I much prefer blending stumps (you can clean them off with a little sandpaper, or the right pencil sharpener, too).

Another trick: tear off a piece of paper, not tissue, and wrap it around the end of a pencil or some such. Preferably something with a rounded end, but a squared-off end can give you a nice sharp edge to work with too.

I personally believe that decent copy paper will handle anything, except wet media, just fine. And even then, some copy paper will hold up to pens reasonably well.

I actually prefer smooth paper for charcoal... you can get more smooth, even tones when you blend. Usually, smooth bristol board... that's what I ink my comics on, so I always have a supply of it on hand.
>> No. 117176
It's interesting that you mention bristol, because my charcoal drawn comics were on bristol and I liked the feel of it, but all the books and such I read recommend using toothy paper.

I got a pad of "premium" charcoal paper, but really don't care for it; feels like the pattern of the weave is competing for attention with the sketch.

Good to know that my instincts wanting to break the "rule" I read aren't without merit...
>> No. 117351
File 135071940314.png - (1.83MB , 1100x803 , bookfort.png )
This one kinda fell apart at the end.

I chickened out and compressed a comic script with several panels, all mane six, and a few background ponies into a cramped single panel where, the more I look at it, the more I wish I'd left the dialogue out altogether.

For perspective to work, characters had to be too small.

Then I realized that Twilight's Epic Book Fort would be casting a shadow on the tree I'd spent an hour detailing.

Then it didn't fit on the scanner.

Oh well. At least it's done so I can move to the next idea.
>> No. 117406
File 135086319446.png - (3.52MB , 1600x1168 , book_fort_by_obsequiosity-d5iga1v.png )
Slapped a little color on there to make it read better.

Probably made it worse.
>> No. 117422
File 135088105212.jpg - (185.40KB , 728x485 , Jardin-de-la-Connaissance-9cT_Folkerts.jpg )

Someday I will come back to the book fort project using lots of reference from this goofy art installation in Quebec and it will be glorious.
>> No. 117603
File 135122769161.png - (1.51MB , 1200x945 , timeisamonstersmall.png )
"Time has no conscience, when it’s all said and done/
Like a beast in the jungle that devours it’s young"

Contemplating my own mortality, and listening to Ray Price contemplate his. Then Granny Smith showed up.
>> No. 117748
File 135157335063.png - (1.69MB , 1200x942 , RaritysAneurismsmall.png )
A lady doesn't have aneurisms, Sweetie Belle, she merely accessorizes her Circle of WIllis with thromboses...

Completely screwed up the light source on this one, but it was too nice to just throw away...
>> No. 117914
File 135217238416.jpg - (242.01KB , 722x1280 , IMG_20121105_211848.jpg )
Undersketch for a comic on the way. Wanted to capture it before I ruined the d'awwwwww.
>> No. 118069
File 135268223226.png - (3.65MB , 1095x1800 , derpydream.png )
He had already passed away before Candy Stripes realized she loved the old unicorn as if he were her own grandfather.

On her first day of work at Celestia's Home for the Infirm and Aged, the cranky head nurse with the inappropriate cutie mark--Who thinks their talent is nursing when their flank sports a picture of a ratchet?--told her, "Just ignore Doctor Caduceus; his mind's too far gone, but at least he doesn't cause trouble." And he had indeed slipped far into the dark recesses of senility.

But there was something about the way he stared intently at his plate while Candy carefully cut up his dinner into bite size pieces that evening; no easy feat considering she was a pegasus and had to wield the knife in her teeth. Suddenly, he pronounced, "Miss Hooves, there are unicorns who cannot make a finer incision than that with all their magic. Well done!"

After that, the dour old pony who had been a fixture just glowering in the corner all day would wait patiently each morning for Candy to arrive, then make the arduous climb out of his chair and slowly set up the chess board. "I know you're better than this, Miss Hooves. You're letting me win, aren't you?" he would pout from under his bushy white eyebrows as she would stumble into check again and again.

Candy often wondered who the original Miss Hooves was. She learned that Doctor Caduceus had been a university teacher from the important Canterlot ponies who came to visit him around the holidays, but none of those ponies knew a Miss Hooves. She couldn't have been a daughter, he was far too stern and almost coldly professional with her. And yet, there was a twinkle in his eye when he addressed her; he would often be stifling a grin despite himself.

So Candy Stripes continued to be Miss Hooves whenever she was in his presence. They would play chess on the good days, and on the bad days, she would just hold his hoof and stroke his mane while the dementia ravaged his aging mind.

"Caduceus doesn't belong in medicine! Finest diagnostician in twelve generations, and we made her deliver the Evening Post!" he would babble through his sobbing, and meet his ersatz Miss Hooves' eyes while his own filled with tears and apology.

This comic feels very *me*. A mixture of doofy sentimentalism and dark humor all in the same place wrapped up in a wistfully melancholic bow. Dinky came out a little dark, but I am far too proud of that Derpy in the last panel. And if you can't tell, the doctor character grew on me over the week it took to bring this from pencil sketch to charcoal drawing.
>> No. 118113
File 135278169676.png - (3.76MB , 1677x1200 , Rarity Aneurism.png )
Bit the bullet and dropped $190 on a Mustek A3 1200S; happy birthday to me and all that.

First impressions:
* Woo! The glass surface is actually a little bigger than the advertised 11.7 x 16.5. Cheap Wal-Mart sketchpad paper (12X18) almost fits on the scanner bed. A little bit of overhang, but not where I feel the need to have to break out scissors and cut paper.
* I keep trying to pick up the lid by the wrong end, and pulling the hinge pins out. The lid apparently is made to come off so you can scan books and such.
* Relatively quick preview and scan. The software interface is comically old school looking (pretty much the same one that came with the Mustek I had about 15 years ago).
* The impressive-sounding 9600 dpi scanning mode is limited by some sort of buffer size issue. The higher the res, the smaller the drawing you can scan. In order to scan a 10.7 by 15 inch drawing, I had to drop back to a measly 900 dpi.
* 10.7 by 15 inches as 900 dpi is a huge file. 330 Megabytes as a gimp XCF. Then again, a spot on the paper the size of my thumbnail is taking up about a quarter of the screen when the picture is only at 100% zoom. You could do some fancy vector work this way.

Just really getting started with it, but so far I like it. Reviews are mixed, but then again, it's 200 bucks when the closest competitor this size is $400. I don't expect miracles, I just like the idea of being able to use 11 by 17" bristol board without having to cut the individual panels, scanning and stitching them back together.
>> No. 118124
This is such an adorable little comic. Except for the bowel obstruction, that's just plain wrong... hilarious, but just plain wrong. X3

The label on the jar? I see what you did there... nice touch.

Sorry I've been lurking so much... my internet access has been sporadic. Still loving all the charcoal work, by the way.

>Bit the bullet and dropped $190 on a Mustek A3 1200S
Mine's in the mail. :3
>> No. 118128
You're the first to spot the jar bit. I was really proud of the jar bit. That's as close as my sledgehammer sensibilities get to subtlety.
>> No. 118141
>You're the first to spot the jar bit. I was really proud of the jar bit.
I'm pretty that sure those kinds of things just don't seem like they're worth commenting on. Like you'd be pointing out the blatantly obvious, and sound like a total moron.

Except that, well, the only way for an artist to know if something works is if someone says something. You try to make a comic, you don't know if it's funny. You try to draw something awesome, you don't know if it's impressive. People just kind of assume that if you can do something well, you know how good you are at it. Except... you don't.

Which is why I personally believe that constructive compliments really are useful feedback. But, I digress.

>That's as close as my sledgehammer sensibilities get to subtlety.
I thought it was a great bit. It's a clever way of explaining what her cutie mark would have to do with her career.

It also kind of implies that she got her "talent" due to fume inhalation. Or accidentally drinking something. Dang workplace hazzards!

Also; I love it when artists/sorta drop things in without overtly pointing them out. Mad props! :3

>Mine's in the mail.
It finally arrived! Sweet-merciful-Celestia-in-a-bucket, you didn't mention how gratuitously HEUGE they are!

Well, okay... I knew it was gonna be twice as big as my A4 scanner, by definition, but I was seriously not prepared for the size of this thing.


>> No. 118169
File 135287016684.png - (2.24MB , 870x1430 , your_daily_dose_of_d_awww___derpy_s_dream_by_obsequiosity-d5ktm8t.png )
It is pretty monstrous. I am totally loving the whole "drop a 12 by 18 sheet of paper on the scanner and go", though. My poor DA account is getting bombed with stuff I already drew, only this time actually scanned instead of a fuzzy photograph. Unfortunately, I think the blur was doing a lot of those drawings a favor. :/

>darn workplace hazards
I have been asking myself if her eyes are crossed in that flashback. Does formaldehyde exposure cause strabismus?

Went and slapped the world's laziest overlay color job on the oomic, because I find color easily doubles the eyeballs a comic gets. I find it interesting how the stuff that looks good in black and white looks *awesome* with overlay, and the stuff that was iffy gets ten times worse with the color treatment.
>> No. 118190
>Went and slapped the world's laziest overlay color job on the oomic,
Whenever I colour something, I set the lineart layer to Multiply and colour on a layer underneath... that's about as lazy as it gets. X3

The sepia tone makes the flash-back panels instantly recognizable as a flash back, so in this case the colouring notably improves the storytelling.

>Does formaldehyde exposure cause strabismus?
Well, I can think of one way to find out!


But I'm not going to: I'm already half blind, after all, that's bad enough as it is.
>> No. 118206
True, the sepia fixes the fact that I completely forgot to drop any kind of indication that we were flashbacking. And I had just got done reading a critique on non-linear storytelling a friend wrote over at
when I scripted this thing...Oh well. Recognizing you screwed up counts as learning, I suppose.

I'll have to try the "line on top as multiply layer" thing...
>> No. 118222
File 135300945960.png - (1.77MB , 1276x900 , new_scanner___old_picture__older_pony__by_obsequiosity-d5l1fkt.png )
Saturation issues.
>> No. 118225
"Don't make me cranky... you wouldn't like me when I'm cranky." :3
>> No. 118274
Oddly enough, this one made EQD Drawfriend. They linked one of my comics a few weeks back, but it's nice to get to claim "official" drawfriend status, that elusive banana sticker of pony fandom psychological validation that I have wanted since...
At least June 4th, it appears.

Oddly enough, it was only a minor uptick in traffic, compared to the comic, which was something like six months worth of views and comments in six hours. The adrenaline high is decidedly lacking this time around. Plus, as much as I like the drawing because it shows so much improvement over what I was doing a few months ago
the more I look at it, the more something seems off...I have this vague sense it has to do with warmness and coolness of the colors in the shadows, but can't pin it down.

But yeah, life's goal accomplished. It's all downhill from here.
>> No. 118288
File 135319031892.jpg - (1.08MB , 1840x3264 , 2012-11-17_16-05-58_800.jpg )
I brought you an ancient mystical gem with the power to free your kingdom from centuries of enslavement...

...but I eated it.

Charcoal pencils are...different than the vine sticks and compressed pieces. Not sure the undersketch is going to disappear enough. Trying to decide whether to press on, or trace and do a second gen drawing...
>> No. 118303
File 135322447947.png - (3.53MB , 1128x1600 , LOLSpikeSmall.png )
Decided to press on with the original sketch. There are a few spots where the undersketch would not go away, but for the most part it turned out okay...

(For the life of me, I'm trying to remember where I saw somepony else's doodle of Spike eating the Crystal Heart. My pose is different, and the text is mine, but I'd still like stick an inspired by credit in there. If you think it was you, lemme know.)
>> No. 118309
File 135323023300.png - (2.88MB , 1128x1600 , LOLSpike.png )

Colorized. Someone brutally critique the everliving heck out of this before I get a swelled head, because I am feeling really good about it...
>> No. 118448
File 135347092928.jpg - (1.24MB , 3264x1840 , 2012-11-20_22-00-01_255.jpg )
(Fancy Scanner and I'm still posting phone camera shots. Doodle amused me enough to share but not enough to waste fixative on...)
>> No. 118496
File 135355650931.png - (1.62MB , 1142x675 , A_Frog_Named_Julius.png )
Sometimes you have to draw a stupid idea just to get it to go away.
>> No. 118502

What is this.
>> No. 118511
I have no idea if he's addressing me or just thought he was making his own thread, but that comic makes me giggle because I am apparently still 12.
>> No. 118520
Also: the post he actually linked to was Mananatee's. Who is someone else entirely.
>> No. 118523
File 135362987748.jpg - (727.25KB , 3264x1840 , 2012-11-22_18-05-37_268.jpg )
So we shall clear the deck with a discussion. What's your pony drawing Achilles' heel?

Mine's legs. I can't proportion 'em correctly to save my life no matter how many tutorials and reference screen caps I monkey with. Attached is as close as I've gotten.
>> No. 118610
File 135389863782.png - (501.47KB , 684x1008 , thumbnail_settings.png )
Just wanted to share this interesting diagram of a approach to layouts by Andrew Loomis in _Creative Illustration_. There was probably a better way to get the point across, but it looks cool.

And while this is pretty much what I do in my head for settings already, I'd never actually drawn parts 1, 2, and 3 out.
>> No. 118611
File 135390135306.png - (610.92KB , 684x1008 , Andrew Loomis - Creative_Illustration pg 265_265.png )
I want to build a time machine so I can go back to 1947 and buy Andrew Loomis a beer.
>> No. 118618
Sweet Celestia in a bucket... this is an incredibly useful technique.

I do this when drawing figures from just about any angle I need to... there's often a lot of blanks to fill in, but at the very least it gives me a general idea of where everything should be.

...And this is why drawing from life is preferable to drawing from photo reference.

Speaking of useful tricks... I draw little diagrams like these when I need to block in perspective: I'll draw something like this with a second figure, and extend the lines to figure out what should be level with what... say, the feet of the far figure should be level with the knees of the near figure. Or to block in the base of the walls in a room. Or if I'm drawing pony, how much shorter should the far legs be than the near legs? Stuff like that. It's one of my most useful tricks for doing perspective at medium distances and enclosed spaces. Viewpoint perspective, by comparison, is mostly useful for big, open spaces and large subjects.

>What's your pony drawing Achilles' heel?
I learned how to draw from life when I was, like, twelve. It's very deeply ingrained, and drawing cartoonishly, throwing out certain constraints of reality, is very difficult for me.

At the same time, my skills in life drawing let me reproduce the shows style, by drawing studies from picture ref. Still... it's hard to let go of certain logical sensibilities in favor of style.
>> No. 118652
File 135398115572.jpg - (97.25KB , 842x515 , schmodwg1 001.jpg )
>drawing cartoonishly, throwing out certain constraints of reality, is very difficult for me.

I know what you mean. There's a guy who used to be around here (BApplejuice or something like that) who does caricatures and cartoony Ponies, and it's like, dangit I'm busting my hump to learn all the rules and this guy knows them well enough that he can break them at will...
>> No. 118843
File 135434481833.png - (3.01MB , 1600x1205 , PinkiePieSelfPortraitSmall.png )
Andrea Libman has pretty cheekbones. Which is nice when you have to draw them over and over and over again because you got the proportions right but the values wrong, or the values right but the proportions wrong.

I love this concept though. I'll probably come back to it sometime. I'd love to have something that looks less like Martha Stewart and more like Andrea Libman to bring to a convention or something...
>> No. 118913
File 135451251517.png - (2.08MB , 900x1156 , andrealibmancharcoalsmall.png )
Really enjoy this idea too much, so I'm going for a redraw with Pinkie and Andrea separated. Also, Andrea drawn like four times as big; she takes up almost a full sheet of 12 by 18 sketch paper.

Original photo's at
if someone feels like spot checking my values. Her whole right hand side of her face is a little mottled, I think, but I've been staring at this drawing too long to fix anything at the moment.

I'm thinking maybe doing Pinkie and Flutters on Bristol so I get a comparatively more sketchier texture on Andrea when I composite it all together.

I'm stuck on Jury Duty all week; I wonder how much flak I'll catch for bringing in a sketchpad and drawing ponies in court...
>> No. 119042
File 135476544405.png - (2.95MB , 1200x1082 , HT PBR.png )
Y'know what's weird?

I have never drawn Hayseed before.
>> No. 119054
File 135483417181.png - (2.04MB , 1200x1082 , HT PBR color.png )
>> No. 119459
File 135554466500.jpg - (123.51KB , 654x971 , IMG_20121214_212145.jpg )
Doodling whilst listening to Xmas music. I am about the unchurchiest atheistic heathern you will ever meet, but damned if "I Heard The Bells" ain't one of the prettiest songs in existence.
>> No. 119677
File 135597658847.jpg - (1.11MB , 3264x1840 , 2012-12-19_22-01-48_123.jpg )
Loved S1gma's sketch concept enough to steal it.

Outright theft is the sincerest form of flattery.
>> No. 119699
File 135606068060.png - (1.68MB , 678x1200 , RariJackForXmas.png )
The only thing more embarassing than drawing this comic is getting the idea for it in the middle of a business meeting (someone used the old line about a gift horse) and just dying to be able to scribble it down before I forgot it again.
>> No. 119700
File 135606272836.jpg - (14.89KB , 267x200 , I never get to use this picture.jpg )
Clever, but you might want to watch out for the racist undertones there. Checking the teeth thing plus redneck character, just sayin', could get misunderstood.

Pic unrelated
>> No. 119701


I had not considered that. Great. Now I'm a secret subconscious racist. I'll have to draw an apology comic where Applejack hides under her blanket in shame, then builds a giant "t" in Rarity's front yard to represent her Thoughtlessness, and burns it as a symbol of her pledge to never be so careless about the subtext of what she does ever again.
>> No. 119703
File 135606841303.jpg - (91.92KB , 407x405 , 1875668b_0f54_720a.jpg )
But of course. We wouldn't want to be seen as offensive by anyone.
>> No. 119782
Santy Claus done brung me James Gurney's _Imaginative Realism_ and _Color and Light_.

And I'll be damned if his color wheel isn't greener than Betty Edwards'. Mind Blown. At this rate I will be drawing in charcoal forever...
>> No. 119783
File 135657793930.jpg - (1.10MB , 3264x1840 , 2012-12-26_21-02-03_419.jpg )
>> No. 119841
File 135666597588.png - (1.01MB , 1200x903 , ugh.png )
Still no idea what I'm doing with color. I get too frustrated with my motor control on the tablet to tighten up anything anyway.

(I wonder what a starter set of soft pastels runs? Can you blend a pack of seven or so like you can oils, or do you need the full 64 crayola carton?)
>> No. 119858
Soft pastels are a little waxier than charcoal: they still blend quite well, but don't erase as easily. Kind of like conte, actually. Their coverage and colour aren't as solid as oil pastel, but better than colour pencil.

I like soft pastels... you can build up colours layer by layer, like coloured pencils, then blend them like charcoal. Because they're a bit waxy charcoal won't stick to heavily covered areas, which can be an upside or a downside.
>> No. 119861
Thanks. I bought a cheap pack of oil pastels (or pricey set of crayons depending on how you look at it), but didn't realize I needed some kind of thinner to blend them. If I was going to go that route I'd probably go all-in with oil paints.

So now I'm thinking soft pastels or maybe watercolors (I bet watercolors and charcoal make a mess, though...).
>> No. 119863
File 135676890549.png - (1.57MB , 1200x847 , charming failure.png )
Going for a redraw of the goofy gift horse comic; screwed up the perspective royally, but felt more like shading it anyway than, y'know, drawing it over the right way.

I'll do it again next week. Maybe.
>> No. 120073
File 135751987095.png - (1.10MB , 900x677 , jushtaleetleoffkilter.png )

Another botched redraw. This one amuses me greatly because there's not much room between "bedroom eyes" and "so schnockered she can't walk in a straight line".
>> No. 120074
File 135752012521.png - (1.85MB , 1200x846 , Rarity come hither stare.png )
This is the one I've decided to quit redrawing with, although there's still something missing in the incline of the head. Charcoal with colored pencil overlay is generally kinda soothing, if a little weird-looking in spots due to my inability to control saturation....
>> No. 120075
Shrink it down like that, and it becomes obvious that Lord, but that is a lot of forehead behind that flaccid unicorn horn.
>> No. 120076
File 135752291996.jpg - (1.24MB , 3264x1840 , 2013-01-06_19-39-20_765.jpg )
"Cut and paste" wasn't always a metaphorical term...
>> No. 120512
File 135909063545.png - (794.08KB , 759x540 , real life is hard.png )
Attempt at a still life. A little charcoal pencil, a little vine charcoal, and a tiny bit of compressed charcoal...

Yes, that is G2 Optimus Prime and a plush Saccharomyces cerevisiae who lives in a four-pack of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale sitting on a Fighting Illini blanket. That's kinda like a bowl of fruit, isn't it?
>> No. 120605
File 135925460998.jpg - (130.33KB , 573x704 , IMG_20130126_203255.jpg )
>> No. 120606
I don't know why, maybe it's because I don't know the context, but this image made me get into a fit of laughter.
>> No. 120610

Oh wait, you're talking about the sinister Rarijack pic.
The original context is the comic at
It was sort of a Xmas card for White Diamonds who has been very gracious to me with advice and such, and is an enthusiastic Rarijack shipper.

But the eyes and Rarity's forehead never did cooperate. People keep telling me she looks evil.
>> No. 120719
File 135984144777.jpg - (76.72KB , 1269x394 , IMG_20130202_150724.jpg )
Setup for a longer comic, but I'm tempted to just call it quits after the third panel.

Bristol. Mostly #2 pencil, with some charcoal pencil to spot the blacks.
>> No. 120759
File 135994449046.png - (2.44MB , 960x1443 , WIP - Etiquette small.png )

Need some critique if anyone has a moment.
Does the last panel (which is of course not finished yet) need any dialogue to get the awful pun across, or is it better on the dry/subtle/downright esoteric side?

Also accepting redlines on panel four because that pose is kicking my butt.
>> No. 120772
File 136003657607.png - (2.56MB , 960x1358 , Etiquette WIP Day 4 small.png )
Opted to point to the punchline with a giant blinking neon arrow sign. I love delayed reaction jokes, but most folks were thinking it was just avant garde weirdness instead of stupid pun inspired weirdness.

Dialogue baloon is painful, though. I need to look at hiring a letterer.

(And maybe an artist.)

(Better writer wouldn't hurt either.)
>> No. 120784
File 136011291728.png - (3.50MB , 1987x1075 , etiquette wip panel2.png )
I like this panel. She just seems so content.
>> No. 120802
File 136021347290.png - (2.83MB , 1080x1600 , etiquette finished work.png )
My work, she is finished!

Learned quite a bit on color theory on this one, just from watching the same color change from panel to panel just because I put it next to a bear.
>> No. 120807
I wonder how Pinkie can do that...

Some nitpicks. Feel free to destroy them.
- panels 1,2: some magic aura would be nice
- panel 3: curvy horn
- panel 5: cutie mark might look better colored in
- last panel: Flutter's wing should be a bit more detailed, and the bear has quite a small head

Last edited at Wed, Feb 6th, 2013 23:22

>> No. 120838
File 136029884020.png - (494.89KB , 1280x720 , Animals_enjoying_the_picnic_S3E3.png )
> - panels 1,2: some magic aura would be nice
Early sketches had some, but they looked awful. I wussed out.

>- panel 3: curvy horn
Unicorn horns are my kryptonite, and it gets worse when you're trying to define stuff with value and therefore undrawing half of your sketch with an eraser to define highlights. I need to spend a day just copying a few dozen screencaps and just figure out how to do it once and for all.

> - panel 5: cutie mark might look better colored in
Weird. I distinctly remember coloring that. I must have uncolored it while fixing something else. Cutie marks in general are something I like to suggest and then move on, because details are for people who are better at paying attent

>- last panel: Flutter's wing should be a bit more detailed, and the bear has quite a small head
If you squint at the pencil sketches, you can see I left the wing out entirely until the last minute. I honestly forget that Fluttershy has wings sometimes.
Man, but you're right about the bear. Somewhere between the first thumbnail (when I was looking at reference material) and the final sketch when I started to fatigue and started rushing things his neck thickness got cut almost in half. Also, his eyes aren't colored with his muzzle.

Thanks for the feedback! It really helps me get a feel for where I need to be focusing on future work.
>> No. 120839
File 136029912546.png - (1.52MB , 945x795 , fluttershy sketch color.png )
The first digital paint I've done that wasn't absolutely abysmal! I believe a "yay" is in order.

Done over the top of a hugely blown up rough sketch for that last comic. I love the way that Fluttershy pose looks in my head, even if I can't get my reality to match it.

Values are still screwy somewhere in the butt area, and around the eyes (I think the sclera are too bright, maybe?), but I need to put this one down and come back later.
>> No. 120872
File 136037002236.png - (1.50MB , 945x795 , fluttershy sketch color.png )
Continuing to tweak, and it vaguely occurs to me that i have no idea where her other leg belongs...
>> No. 120896
File 136053718548.png - (879.02KB , 1200x716 , Zecora is hard to draw.png )
My Little Pony you were doing so well
But those last remarks were just racist as

Zecora is hard to draw. I like her eyeroll in the last panel, though.

This has been in the notebook for a while, but I got reminded about it by Ponydora Prancypants' "Racist Barn":
(If you haven't read that yet, go do yourself a favor and check it out. Then start on his first novel.)

I dunno if this joke is worth the full shading and color treatment, but I might come back to it sometime. I can hear the "so ar*tic*ulate" in Rarity's voice so clearly, though...
>> No. 120925
File 136063608411.gif - (31.41KB , 245x184 , goat2.gif )
There's a place down the road from me that raises goats. I've often thought that they move like the ponies in MLP. (Right proportions, same skeleton, makes sense...)

The other day a friend reposted some tumblr blog where the guy apparently just collects gifs of baby animals doing cute things. Goat on a stump spazzing out caught my attention.

So I split it into the 31 frames, and did a bit of tracing to get the basics. One of these days I'll get around to getting a better sense of the forms, and if that goes well, maybe ponify it. Spastic Sweetie Belle needs to be drawn.
>> No. 120947
I don't get the deal with show accuracy. If the character is identifiable, why is it so bad that they have another artist's style put into them?
>> No. 120967
Not sure what prompted this, but I'll bite: I admire artists who have the skill to stay on model. Art is the selective recreation of reality to transmit an idea/emotion from one mind to another. The precision of that recreation is not essential to the transmission, but often helps on the uptake, and usually the precision helps the whole remain harmonious. That harmony is the aesthetic side of the coin and you can write whole books debating taste, but precision helps harmony, so lots of artists strive for it. And therefore know how hard it is to earn and appreciate it.

I'm a woodworking geek between pony sketches. A common practice in furniture making is to create a piece with smooth straight surfaces, but leave a few tool marks where the ones who know what they're looking at can marvel, "Holy Crap, he did that by *hand*." The artist who can render Sweetie Belle riding a pogo stick while giving her the same proportions as she'd have in the cartoon is working on the same principle.

So it's not a requirement. But "That's my style," should only apply to deviations from model that you *chose* to make.
>> No. 121013
File 136090080171.png - (858.60KB , 1200x787 , _comic__purple_guilt___now_in_color__by_obsequiosity-d5uyjnj.png )

>wants to learn digital painting
>can't be bothered to color inside the lines on a mock cel shade.
>> No. 121041
File 136107998601.png - (812.88KB , 1200x712 , billiards lesson.png )
Rare, your bridge is a-quiverin' a bit. Here, lemme adjust your position a little...

Didn't I tell'ye it'd be more fun to learn how to play the way Earth Ponies do?

Don't get me wrong, unicorn magic's fine n' all, but when you gotta in *so close* to the felt that y'kin smell the chalk, and ye get to *feel the impact* when ever'thing starts to *smacking* together... Hoo! You just start ta really *feelin'* the rhythm of the game. It just feels so...*real* that way, ye know what ah mean?

...Uh, Rarity? Are you listenin'?
>> No. 121160
File 136142160054.png - (3.38MB , 1694x1200 , billiards lesson charcoal day one.png )

Inadvertently derped the perspective when I tried fix the composition (wanted move the ponies down a bit to prevent intersections with the corner pocket).

Now I'm too far along to turn back. Figured I'd scan what I have before I ruin Rarity's eye by drawing and redrawing and redrawing a mane in front of it.
>> No. 121193
File 136150781404.png - (3.86MB , 1600x1259 , billiards lesson charcoal day two.png )
I am ambivalent about that Applejack. I really like half of her mane. (The back. The front is off in a way I don't like, whereas the back is off in way I do like.)
>> No. 121213
File 136159425593.png - (223.83KB , 323x450 , billiards lesson lost in translation.png )
Finished works never have quite the same energy as a sketch, do they?
Let's see here:
The obvious screw-up is the perspective. I was trying to avoid that corner pocket and wound up at the point where there should probably be another pocket near Applejack's elbow.

Trying to adjust that on the fly meant I completely misplaced their cheekbones, driving the eyes off-model and putting the noses/muzzles/what-the-heck-do-ponies-have into Smurf territory...

Somewhere along the way Applejack got a Popeye forearm. She just needs an anchor tattoo.

And the worst part of it all is I recognized all this two [weeks?] days ago and kept slogging through anyway.

Last edited at Fri, Feb 22nd, 2013 21:45

>> No. 121344
File 136202305890.png - (1.81MB , 1200x786 , billiards lesson charcoal redraw.png )
You're watching Ponies Playing Eight Ball Television. All ponies playing billiards, all the time.

Up next: Childish Innuendo Involving Balls.
After that: Stupid Jokes About Racks.

[Proportion issues were bugging me, so I had to redraw. Starting to realize just how much I liked drawing on the tan paper...]
>> No. 121388
File 136220244362.png - (74.10KB , 494x275 , zecora new tablet test.png )
Splurged on a medium Intuos 5.

Up 'till now I'd worked on a Graphire2 that had been missing the buttons off the pen for the last seven years.

Ye gods, they have improved these things considerably since the stone age.

My drawings unfortunately did not improve.

But once I get all the buttons properly mapped, I can probably crank them out three times as fast...
>> No. 121652
File 136287151257.png - (518.46KB , 1130x900 , using her wings.png )
I dunno. It's not really *funny* funny, but it makes me chuckle...
>> No. 121658
File 136288881208.png - (378.87KB , 1200x955 , using her wings framed inks.png )
>> No. 121756
File 136331914024.png - (3.88MB , 2546x2027 , using her wings color.png )
>> No. 121832
File 136375538066.png - (1.45MB , 810x985 , zebraisbestpony.png )
>> No. 121848
File 136383307978.png - (2.40MB , 1200x1290 , zebraisbestpony2.png )
>> No. 122167
File 136468079709.png - (6.30MB , 2102x1552 , pinkie rockwellcharcoal day two color.png )
I'm trying to decide whether to bring this to a con in Cincinatti and ask Andrea Libman to sign it. Do you think she'd be flattered or creeped right the [email protected]#$ out?
>> No. 122318
File 136513409692.png - (1.82MB , 1200x703 , for Kushell2.png )
The other day I got a genuine, unsolicited, request from someone who wanted their OC's drawn in "my unique style".

I have a style! Neat.

My head is swelled so bad now, it'll be weeks before I can wear a hat again.
>> No. 123102
File 136835186117.gif - (864.46KB , 235x350 , pinkiebaxtercolor.gif )
Animation is hard.
>> No. 123463
File 136962041719.png - (2.62MB , 1408x1105 , you_maniacs___you_blew_it_up__by_obsequiosity-d66hhcb.png )
I'm slowly learning to scan my WIPs more frequently so after I get done overworking it, I can drop back to the one I like best and put it out there.

(Good day for attention horseing; the comic this drawing eventually became got EQD'd *plus* Andrea Libman said the Pinkie Pie from
was "cool". Shame I had to show it to her over Twitter instead of at CutieMarkCon next week, but they dropped her from the guest list about ten minutes after they cashed my check for a convention badge. Glad I didn't shell out for an artist's table.)

Last edited at Wed, Jun 12th, 2013 21:43

>> No. 123882
File 137109854709.png - (800.66KB , 690x961 , distracting_her_from_her_book_by_obsequiosity-d68pdfl.png )
Quit distracting that horse. She's trying to read her book.
>> No. 124314
File 137196779549.png - (2.51MB , 2048x1400 , ponies killing a snake day five.png )

Played hooky from work a week ago and went to the Art Institute of Chicago (If it's good enough for Ferris and Cameron...). In the room where they keep Grant Wood's American Gothic, they have this other painting by John Steuart Curry tucked away in the corner. I was absolutely mesmerized by it.
>> No. 124316
File 137198518753.jpg - (24.78KB , 630x420 , Alan-Ruck-Ferris-Bueller.jpg )
>> No. 124322
File 137201571627.jpg - (2.92MB , 2056x3648 , Self-Portrait[1].jpg )
Apparently the guards get really pissed if you stand there and make that face in front of that painting.

Also, the Van Gogh self portrait is like thirty times more vivid in person than any photograph ever gives it justice. For a colorblind dude, his color theory is rock solid.
>> No. 124323
File 137201594541.png - (2.61MB , 2048x1400 , ponies killing a snake day six.png )
Applejack's back legs are slowly driving me mad.
>> No. 124592
File 137290403291.png - (3.26MB , 2048x1610 , ponies killing a snake day ten.png )
Finished it. Probably one of my favorite things I've ever done, and the response to it has been...tepid at best.

C'est la vie, or some other such fanciness.
>> No. 124673
File 137333817730.png - (76.61KB , 318x222 , jesus christ how horrifying[.png )
Ever have a drawing go off the rails so slowly you don’t notice until you look away for a second to take a drink and then look back up and scare yourself half to death?
>> No. 124674
Yes, alcohol induced:
>> No. 125059
File 137446847783.gif - (0.97MB , 400x225 , MZgzxzm.gif )
Now I remember what that reminds me of.
>> No. 125071
I shown this one to my nephew, it's now one of his favorite pony crossover images :P
>> No. 125613
File 137636758708.png - (3.75MB , 2697x1347 , cephalalgia.png )
Neat! Glad he liked it, and sorry it took me weeks to wander back here.

I'm caught between projects now. I have like four comic scripts, want to just do a whole bunch of charcoal studies for the basic skill practice, and instead all I do is goof off watching TV and occasionally draw stupid doodles like this one.

Sometimes people ask me, "Obs, why don't you have any OC's?"

Then I show them Cephalalgia, Applejack's distant cousin who--despite being a unicorn who can't use magic--still manages to run the most profitable maple syrup tapping operation in all of Equestria.

They never ask me about OC's ever again.

(Which is a shame, became then I would tell them about Cotton, the irritable bucking rodeo pony—not a pleasant ride—who does construction work on the side building dams. She gets paid under the table, though, so you should never point out when she’s retaining water.)

Fun fact: The original sketch had maple syrup dripping from the horn to make it more obvious she's using it to tap the tree. It also made the picture look absolutely obscene.
>> No. 125711
File 137705428873.png - (2.04MB , 1200x1865 , day late and a bit short greyscales.png )
Charcoal studies of actual people are way, way harder than I anticipated. Break time! Back to ponies. Ponies are spheres. Spheres are easier to draw.

Even if I did ruin this one with colored pencils and have to desaturate it back to black and white in GIMP.
>> No. 125713
File 137705600951.png - (65.02KB , 1155x692 , pinkie_pie_wants_hugs_by_orschmann-d4ar4gu.png )
Hiya Hayseed! Its good to see you again.
>> No. 125784
File 137747394154.png - (3.47MB , 1600x1128 , berrypunchsmall.png )
I never have the nerve or energy to finish drawing out all the comic scripts I write. I'm considering the idea of just publishing the scripts as some kind of public domain thing. Go forth, draw, and publish, but if anyone asks where you got the idea, tell them about your awesome pal Uncle Hayseed.

So, is this a neat idea, or is just a pathetic douche-y way to make extremely complicated requests without having to actually approach anyone? I can't decide either.


RARITY enters library, sees BERRY PUNCH at table reading, approaches TWILIGHT SPARKLE by the shelving.

Twilight, you are aware that she is in your library, are you not? I thought she was banned permanently after the, uh...incident...

Who, Berry Punch? It's OK, Rarity! Turns out it was a simple misunderstanding that could be fixed with a proper labeling system.

RARITY looks on as TWILIGHT affixes a label to a shelf reading: "Shelving not to be used for micturition purposes."

Besides, I need her help for a magic spell I'm working on.

From the background RARITY looks disdainfully at BERRY PUNCH in the foreground as the latter drains a bottle of wine while reading "The Grapes of Wrath".

She's helping you with magic?

TWILIGHT and RARITY talking heads, while Twilight motions to complicated diagrams and periodic tables.

Yes! I've been assigned a classic alchemy problem: turning lead into gold! But it's never been done before because the starting material is all wrong. So I'm using a combination of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, but it needs to be in a specific configuration to speed up the process. What's more,since gold is so much denser, I'll need at least three quarters of a pound of material to make an ounce of gold, and that doesn't count material to practice with...

BERRY PUNCH approaches TWILIGHT and RARITY and tosses a small object to Twilight.

Here'sh anudder'n. How many more *hic* do you think you're gonna need?

TWILIGHT places the object, a wine cork, on a scale as RARITY looks on.

At least five.

Wine corks?

BERRY PUNCH lines up a fresh bottle with the cork screw she's holding in her teeth.

Hot damn! Only two more hoursh 'till quittin' time! Then we can go get shomethin' to drink...
>> No. 126484
File 138120078592.png - (1.68MB , 1419x1007 , vellum3.png )
Applejack's interactions with sheep bother me.

(No, not that kind of interactions with sheep; get your mind out of the gutter.)
>> No. 126901
File 138707544380.png - (2.16MB , 800x1808 , voodoodollscompletecolors.png )

Haven't been here for a while. Wanted to push people toward a video I took of me drawing a thing. I'm looking for traditional artist feedback on stuff like, "You're holding the pencil wrong" or what have you. (Seriously, I have no idea what I'm doing.)
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