New Year’s Resolution

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Draw moar backgrounds – and start figuring out how to draw detailed things without them all going to hell…

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  1. Dizon says:

    Now that’s awesome. Simple but to the point. I would love to see more!

  2. SCIBOTIC says:

    For me at least, doing detailed stuff well comes down to the reference I have on hand.

  3. le-mec says:

    Dizon: Thanks!

    SCIBOTIC: Now why the heck didn’t I think of that?! I wasn’t using any reference — no wonder I was totally strapped for ideas! I always marvel at how others manage to think of so many nurnies and greebles to nestle into their work. Add that to my list of resolutions… when stuck for ideas, use moar reference!

  4. Björn Hurri says:

    great sketch man, very clean and strong but it is a bit too simplified, there is no real texture changes or focal point.

    Keep on rocking!
    Bjorn.

  5. le-mec says:

    Thanks Björn!!! But suddenly I have questions for you!!!!

    1) What’s “texture”? I mean, I’ve got this vague idea, but I want a pro’s definition of “texture”. How does “texture” act as a tool for the artist to direct or retain attention?

    2) When and where should I change textures? When should I NOT use textures?

    3) At what stage should textures be added? What must I establish first to support textures? When is it too late?

    4) How do you go about choosing focal points in the beginning stages of a background? I have this n00b urge to just draw a cool detailed background, but I wanna know what parameters influence your decision to say: “THIS will be the focal point. I want to arrange everything to direct the viewer to THIS place.”

    5) Could you name something that I did that you ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT do? There’s got to be SOME outright bungling in this picture.

    6) …and, is there something that I failed to do that you would urge that I NEVER LEAVE OUT?

  6. Hey Le- Mec! This is lookin great! Good resolutions…

    Yeah, I am still getting into the texture thing too… I don’t have much experience, Bjorn would be the guy you want answers from… but it does make a huuuuuge difference. Once you start looking for it you will really start seeing what it does and how it’s used in different places. A good way to think about how to add it is thinking about what materials are in the scene… Look at specifically how the highlights on a material are broken up. Rubber, glass, brushed steel, rusted metal, skin, leather, whatever…

    If I could chime in about focal points too… I usually lead my composition into the focal point and use it as the “payoff” and usually put it on the right upper or lower 3rd of the comp, so your eye starts at the left, follows your compositional elements or lines through the image and then lands on the focal point, the area of most interest or center of action in a scene… then hopefully picks up more compositional elements to lead it back for another round… If you put a vanishing point right at the focal point as well, you can have all sorts of lines leading the eye into it too.

    Great stuff, keep us posted on yer progress.

  7. le-mec says:

    Dead Mellotron: Hey, if anyone’s got some burning insights into this matter, I’m willing to hear them out!

    I _should_ think more about different materials. I’ve got all these pipes made of the same metal — it’d make sense that some conduits are for water, others are for gas, some are for electricals – the gas and water ones would have knobs or valves and might fork at various junctions to route the stuff they carry, and a gas or water meter in an easily accessible area wouldn’t be out of place in the picture, either.

    I should also consider how details are are affixed to the wall (bolts, weld seams, etc.)

    I think my biggest mistake in drawing this was not considering the purpose of this tunnel and working randomly. I think subjects for “payoff”, should be either “a place to do something” or “a place to go”. A big control panel or a dead guy or a giant knob or an open cockpit or a package of explosives seem to come to mind as good examples of payoff subjects. Otherwise, payoff can be an entryway of sorts into a different place — the idea is to give people the desire to go through that entryway, flip that switch, loot that corpse, turn that knob, drive that vehicle or defuse that bomb. Without payoff, this picture’s really just scenery.

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