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119898 No. 119898
#Digital #Gallery #Critique wanted

So I got a tablet for christmas, and I've been drawing my flank off day in and day out over the break. I was up 'till 5 finishing this last drawing (to be fair, I probably started around 1...) and it represents the best I've got at this moment. It's my first offering worthy of the internet, and I need to know how to make it better.

I started out practicing on Gimp, but I upgraded to Paint Tool Sai for this last one, so if anyone knows any tricks about that program, specifically for blending and shading on the coat to make the body more three dimensional, I'd like to hear them.
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>> No. 119900
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Well, as I'm sure most anyone can tell you, it helps to know about what you're drawing. Studying a bit of anatomy can really pay off in terms of accuracy. Outside of that it's all just how you apply that knowledge. For example; Knowing which direction the ears face naturally on your character, the affects of gravity on hair, or just how wide the mouth actually is.

On the subject of shading specifically, though, if you're going to be using line at all then you should probably play it up, to say the least. "Use it as a compositional tool instead of an artistic crutch," as my art teacher would probably say if I had an art teacher. Besides, it'll help you get a firm understanding on the importance and practical applications of shades and deep hues. Too many artists are afraid of using dark shades in their works and it ends up being all midtones and highlights with no firm definition to bring it all into focus. If you want a better idea of what I mean by using line to express form and shade, hunt up some noir comics and study how they wield it to express dynamic situations and light sources. Lighting is a nice study, while you're at it, that is provided you actually listen to my small novel here. All the shading technique in the world is useless without a solid understanding of lighting.

Picture related because it's got some nice examples of sharply defined shadows with a single light source all aligned within a textbook example of one point perspective. Also, The Rocketeer (1991) was part of my childhood because my father would never shut up about how cool it was.
>> No. 119901

Thanks for the advice, everything in your "small novel" should be very helpful. I've been doing mostly practice and proof of concept stuff trying to figure out what in the hoof I'm doing, so the thin, bland lines here were more to see if I could get away from sketchy lines. (I just figured out the pen tool on Sai and it seemed magical at the time...) What I'm considering doing now (and of course I'm drawing as I type this) is a more sketchy pen-illustration style of shading like these:

I do also like the noir style you showed me, though, so I might have to try something more like that, with thick, dark, sharp shadows. Perhaps I ought to combine the two, and go with a sort of comic-book look...

In the way of anatomy, I've actually lived around horses most of my life, so I've often wanted take some more realistic elements into consideration, (although I must admit the muzzles I draw look a little... excessive, at the moment.) I've been trying to elongate the form of the pony and make the joints in the back legs more defined, though you can't see that here, but I definitely do need to figure out what it is about ears that's eluding me.

Anyway I can't thank you enough for some serious feedback, as usual I have a lot of new techniques to try, a lot of new sources to study, and a lot more drawing to do, so good day to you sir.
>> No. 119902
If you're looking for hints; the ear is like the mouth to a cave. It's not light that shapes it, but shadow.

Cheers, friend.
>> No. 119904
In SAI, I'm always using the Pen or Bucket tool (bucket only if i don't have messy outlines) to colour flat, and then add shading with the Brush Tool after setting Preserve Opacity to the colouring layer.
(idk if that helps, lul :c)

I really like the way you coloured the mane, btw.
>> No. 119909

I've been messing around with the pen tool in Sai trying clean lines and smooth blending, but I'm debating whether or not I should go back to my roots and preserve the sketchy lines my drawings usually have. At first I thought it might look too messy, but I'm thinking the texture would be more interesting to look at, especially if I tried a cross-hatching pen illustration style of shading with it. It's not what most people seem to do, but that may be a good thing...
>> No. 120029
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So I've been experimenting with different shading techniques, and I decided to take a gamble and do a drawing with the eyes closed, since those are the part I feel most comfortable with, and focus on what I don't know. After some derping around, I came up with this, which is less realistic and more stylized.

To anyone who cares to critique, I just need someone to point me in a direction. Is this better or worse? Should I tone down or increase the stylization? Is this not a good direction at all? Or is this what I should be practicing?
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