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Tabby's Super-Amateur Attempts 
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:39 pm
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Hey all,
So i've recently (within the past 3-4 months) been attempting to pick up drawing. Since then I've made a few pieces:
http://tabbytim.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5jcaqc
http://tabbytim.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5jcade
http://tabbytim.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5jc9tx
These are all drawings I did based on a picture I had next to me during the process. I didn't trace them, but I didn't do it from memory or by my creation either.

(I don't believe I can imbed them here, but if most users do not have a deviant art account, I can try other methods)

Anyway, these didn't come out horribly, but I still have sooo much progress to be made. Practice practice practice.

For the most part, I'm worried about my foundation skills. I feel like I'm approaching a picture all wrong: I attempt to almost copy it line for line, measure for measure when I feel I should be concentrating on shapes in the object I'm attempting to recreate.

Anyway, I know we have some more experienced artists here and I do appreciate feedback, hopefully I'll be able to keep this up and get a little better with time.

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Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:29 pm
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That first fox is really cute! :D


Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:53 pm
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I think i'm most satisfied with that one, i managed to get the eyes and pose to come out mostly right

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:57 pm
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I agree that the first one is definitely the best!

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Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:04 pm
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Sleet wrote:
I agree that the first one is definitely the best!

>^.^< I'm glad you like it. I would really like to draw users on here if I ever get half way decent. They probably wouldn't be good enough to use as profile pictures, but I wouldn't mind throwing them in the figurative river if people didn't want to be associated with them.

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:11 pm
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not bad!

I'll admit I spent a minute trying to decipher the text that has been erased....

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Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:00 pm
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TomIsAwesome wrote:
not bad!

I'll admit I spent a minute trying to decipher the text that has been erased....

The scanner breached through some of the paper, the resolution was fairly high on some of them =)
I need to back them before i scan

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:06 pm
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Lady Sloth
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Starting out, it's all about deciding which details are essential to convey the essence of the piece, and which are not--or, which, if done poorly, will detract.

I have mild motor-control issues that mean I often draw each line 4 or 5 times before I get it just right (which is why most of my work is digital these days, since ctrl+z makes my life so much easier). I don't think I'll ever draw super realistic pieces, so I embraced a cartoony style which is all about boiling an image down to its essential parts.

I think that even if you do move on to super detailed pieces, it'll be the same deal.

If you're using a reference photo, try starting from a central point, like the eyes, and building around that. Also keep in mind the structure going on behind the scenes, if you will. Sometimes you'll have to alter certain aspects of the photo in order to make it jive with your style--some extreme perspectives, etc, just look wrong unless done in a photorealistic style.

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Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:07 pm
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Gypsi-Rae wrote:
Starting out, it's all about deciding which details are essential to convey...

That is actually really helpful, I never thought about that. Leaving out some elements that are unimportant or too hard to convey may emphasize the more important elements. I'll practice with that.

And I do usually start with a single important point and work around it with lots of reference lines. I thought this is the wrong approach though since most artists seem to work mostly on reference shapes: draw the head and nose as rough shapes first as references etc, but I'm really bad at free form shapes that are close enough to what i'm drawing.

Thank you, Gyp, I really appreciate your feedback

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:29 pm
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Tim, those are all quite impressive! Good work! I agree with Gypsi, don't spend too much time on only one aspect, which will leave the picture imbalanced. If you have a picture for reference and you're basically transfering it to canvas with some stylization, this rule doesn't apply so much. Just remember that memory is not perfect, so if you can't finish in a few sittings and don't have a near replica ref, don't do it. The longer I've drawn things out, the less it turns out the way I'd want.
I also have dexterity issues, so I tend to build on things instead of trying to do it perfectly the first time.


Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:18 pm
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Right, that all makes definitely makes sense. I usually do these in one sitting with a reference photo, though I'd like to get experienced enough to be able to do less detailed jobs without a photo. I also may try using photoshop, I have some experience with it though I don't have a tablet, though I can still see it making some aspects much easier

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:32 pm
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So i made my first attempt at a fursona, http://tabbytim.deviantart.com/art/Tabs ... -335530032
I'm fairly happy with how this turned out and I'll probably use it as my avatar here as soon as I can shrink it.

Again, thanks so much for your input, everyone. Gyp and BJBear, your feedback definitely helped and I tried to be selective with which details to include, as my initial strategy was truly "be a realistic as possible by including every detail you can" and that totally muddled up my pictures. I also used reference shapes this time initially and I like the way that worked, and I think it will help me gain experience from each session.

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:37 pm
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Not too bad! You should try a full body sometime!

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Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:41 pm
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That's probably my next plan, but I really wanted to work on aspects of the face so i did a close up. This also allows me to do an avatar with it

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:51 pm
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I like what you've done. There are several different methods of practice that you might try. I find circles really help with maintaining form and aspect. Circle for the face, separate circles for the snout/muzzle, ears, eyes (obviously). The other one is tracing from pictures of animals I am interested in so that I can figure out which parts I want to keep and which I don't. Using the same principle that Gypsi-Rae suggested - Which is a great suggestion that I will use too, so drawings aren't over-thought.

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Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:54 pm
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Yea, I'm trying to get decent with using circles as foundation reference shapes, I still need practice with it though. And I usually don't have too much trouble selecting which aspects to keep, but I haven't done too much with it yet. Tracing doesn't seem as useful to me because I didn't think it would help me practice with freehand. But you think it help?
Right now the primary thing I'm working on is just getting the perspective right, such as with angled faces and what not. It's serving more difficult then i thought.

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:08 pm
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Lady Sloth
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Yes, tracing is definitely helpful!

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Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:23 pm
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Ok so that was the opposite of my original perspective so I hope you all wouldn't mind an elaboration.

So it's ok to trace a reference photo, as in draw over the reference photo? I can see that leading to better pictures but wouldn't that be less valuable practice (if that makes any sense). I'm not speaking of any technique in particular, I would just like to grow better at drawing in general and tracing seems like tracing would be taking the easy way out.

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:32 pm
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Lady Sloth
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If you consider your tracing to be your finished product, you have a problem. But tracing a picture helps you understand how the lines interact with each other in a more immediate way. Eventually, once you understand the curves and straights etc., you need to be able to use a reference photo of, say, a cat in profile, and draw the cat facing forward, or take a reference photo for a horse and turn it into a pegasus (i.e. not copy the picture 100%). But starting out with tracing and exact copies is your first step.

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Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:20 am
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Ok cool; even if I just traced for some reference shapes just to get proportions and angles right, it would probably help a lot. Thanks, you two!

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Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.


Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:40 am
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