Thursday, 5 June 2014

Quest for Improvement

So, this is one of the popular deviantart memes, where you post up old pictures and see how they compared to newer ones. Having stumbled across this tutorial on how to move to more realistic art, I've found my art style changing immensely so I thought it would be fun to put my own artwork through this process.




I have to say I'm quite amazed at how quickly my style changed at the start! I think going to medical school helped, as I rapidly learnt real anatomy and better ways to proportion people. I also invested in a graphic tablet, which also contributed to the improvement.

After that dramatic jump between 2005-2006, my style seemed to have settled more, and my drawings were more consistent.

In 2007 I learnt about textures and added them to clothing and such like, giving them a little more depth.

In 2008, I made a more conscious effort to improve my skin and clothing shading as I was starting to make a bit of a hash of it. I developed a method called 'triangle theory' which helped make folds look deeper, although they still looked very rigid. I also changed my original character designs.

In 2009 I revisited some old drawings (Zidane and Dagger from Final Fantasy 9 and Sabriel and Touchstone from Garth Nix's book Sabriel) and re-attempted them, with much improved results! I also tried for more exciting poses as I was getting a bit too comfortable with static ones. I continued developing this in 2010, although that was a bit of a dry year for art for me as I had my medical finals.

2011 came around and I discovered the magic that is brush sets. This helped form more believable textures (although I did go overboard sometimes, as with the surfing picture of my original character!). Towards the end of this year I also got a new graphic tablet, which helped as my old one had become quite worn out.

In 2012 I started a new novel, The Binding, and so wanted to visualise my characters. I also met new writer friends on a website called authonomy, and I dabbled in a little fanart, too. I had to go back to using references for a while, though, as I wasn't drawing as frequently as before thanks to work, so a lot of my posing wasn't freehand like before. I was also wanting to move to a more realistic style, but it never seemed to work out so I stuck with what I knew.

When 2013 arrived, I was starting to look at other aspects of art, such as landscape perspective and mixing brush textures to make smoother and less stuck-on backgrounds. By now I was mostly focused on my novel characters so I didn't do any fanart as I had done previously.

Now, earlier this year, 2014, I discovered this amazing tutorial. This was what I'd been missing in 2012. For the first time I could finally see where I was going wrong, and so now I've started on a brand new style!

I look forward to what the years to come will reveal!

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