Art improvement thread

  • LDG

    Been talking about art lately on the podcast, and some of you are into it! That’s great, let’s encourage each other and talk about the process and stuff. Here are my art tips so far (If there’s interest, I’ll update the list as they come out):

    (0 - Draw/paint/create every day)
    1 - Learn how/what to learn (I recommend Ctrl+Paint)
    2 - Use primitives (Wield & Weld)
    3 - Surround yourself (read books, follow artists)
    4 - Set specific goals
    5 - Fill sketchbooks (try to fill one per month)
    6 - Measure progress (draw/compare still lives, determine what kinds of lines you draw well)
    7 - Stagger studies (stagger what you study: mostly draw in lines? practice painting mass. mostly use colors? try value alone)
    8 - Composition (learn what lines/shapes cause what emotions, practice simple shapes in relation to each other, try different perspectives)

  • LDG

    I’ll start:

    Jogurt warmup

    Drew some JOGURT as a warmup yesterday. Started with a rough gesture and a quick proportion study, then dove into a full pencil render. As you can see, my values are all over the place; for some reason the darkest values are in his right foot? So one bad habit I’m trying to break is exerting too much pressure with my tool (I do the same thing with my stylus, but you can’t tell as easily).

    How’s your art going? What are you trying to improve?

  • LDG

    You should draw a different Shining Force character every day!

  • Patron

    Draw Amethyst please? Thank you! :P

  • Patron


  • LDG


    Tao is many people’s favorite Shining Force wizard because she’s with you from the beginning. I started this drawing on paper, spending more time on proportion and layout than I normally would – that critical step is something I usually don’t have enough energy for, because it’s not that interesting just drawing light lines and boxes. Later I fleshed it out and was (reasonably) happy with the drawing, so I scanned it, and brought it into Manga Studio for lines and color. Finishing is important, too! Just like with games, sometimes you’re not done learning until you cross the finish line.

    My main takeaway from this one is that I need to work towards compositions and not just characters – Tao would look much more interesting hanging out in a Shining Force town, headquarters, or in a library reading books or something. But I guess this one was just a study of the original character art… so that’s something for later. Onwards and upwards and stuff!

  • Jammer

    Posted this on twitter last week using my ipad: (dont remember if i posted it here).


    Definitely need to get my lines straighter :)

  • LDG

    @agmcleod You can embed images in the post using Markdown syntax:


  • Patron

    @geoffb said:

    @agmcleod You can embed images in the post using Markdown syntax:

    But you can’t resize 'em!

    Where’s my HTML Geoff? And my coins, for that matter???!

  • LDG

    @Josue Yeah, resizing would be nice. HTML isn’t going to be enabled. Not only is it a security issue, but I really don’t want iframes and other HTML nonsense all over the forum. :)

  • Patron

    @geoffb said:

    @Josue Yeah, resizing would be nice.

    Argh… sometimes, writing Markdown kinda feels like making a Whitespace program…

    I just… don’t like it.

    HTML isn’t going to be enabled.

    Yeah, I know… :P

    But I really liked the HTML times… you could embed anything you wanted on the forum! Even AWL!

    BTW, you still didn’t tell me where the heck are my coins. I want 'em ALL!

  • Jammer

    Cheers @geoffb, i always forget the syntax for images in markdown :). I know many other things!

  • Oh good! Last time I tried to post it didn’t let me post.
    Here is the stuff I drew after your podcast inspired me to draw more/something daily. I will not post 50 one-point-perspective-drawings. (PROBABLY…)
    Also hi, first post. :)
    Wha? I can’t just slap art in here? Okaaay
    (insert sound of someone uploading files).

  • LDG

    hey @Nycteris welcome! I remember your dragon from twitter, it is super cute

  • Thank you!

  • Ok. I totally needed this thread right now. Trying to recover skills that used to be 2nd nature. I’m still happy as a programmer, but usually when it comes time to re-attempt making a game with friends, I’m the only one who has ever done any drawing.

    I promise not to lurk for too long! I’ll get started with step 0 … now-ish.

  • LDG

    @jiiimbot did you begin step 0? Do tell!

    Since the Kickstarter launched I’ve been too stressed to do much drawing. Went about 5 days without, which I think is my longest drought this year. But tonight I practiced! Here’s my warmup:


    I’m starting to get more comfortable blocking shapes in before jumping to details like I tend to do. Inking is really fun to me so I wanted to do a simple head, but first I inked some quick primitives to warmup (again!) with the brush pen. My strokes are still much too heavy-handed, but that’s what practice is for!

    Anyway life is hard and who has the time for ANYTHING RIGHT?? but here’s my attempt to encourage improvement of any kind. Anybody else drawing?

  • Jammer

    Oh man, that inking just really makes things pop!
    @richtaur @agmcleod @Nycteris
    I really enjoy all of the works you guys have posted thus far, please keep it up :)

  • LDG

    Shining in the Darkness practice

    These are both 60-minute mass and color studies of the intro wizard from Shining in the Darkness. The left one is from I think July and the right is late August. To me the right is much more successful – the shapes gel together better, the strokes are more confident, and the colors are more satisfying. Signs of improvement! But I still suck at hands ;)

  • Patron

    Oh, now there’s a familiar face! Instantly recognisable, well done!

  • @richtaur I finally did! Work deadlines took their toll, but I dedicated the free windows in my day today to finish a sketch. Technically I cheated by not drawing arms/hands. But this is usually how I cope with a block.

    Trying to work towards daily sketching. Pretty therapeutic.

    Thanks for the nudge! The wizard side-by-side shows a net positive, IMHO. I can tell that you’re getting more selective with when you use the lighter tones as highlights. Really helps create depth.

    puts monocles in both eyes and sips a microbrew

    In the podcast, whenever you mention needing to get the form or gesture right first, and catching yourself in the rabbit hole of detail, I start shouting “get out of my brain!”

    …or something like that.

    What to do with my arms

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