Category Archives: Tutorials

How to See in Value

One of the most important concepts to know and understand as a visual artist is that pictures, scenes and still images are arrangements of value; light, dark and gray shapes. It’s these light, dark and gray shapes that the human mind assembles as a cohesive picture.

Being able to see the world as shapes of value, especially colored shapes and objects, is a master skill to cultivate as a visual artist. It’s important to the artist because in order to compose and arrange shapes in our pictures, we must first see and understand their inherent grayscale value.

The most basic and abstract pattern of dark and light shapes (A) is the first ‘read’ the mind makes. This happens on a visceral, almost subconscious level. As more information is processed, like details and color, the mind can then assemble a more refined and sophisticated image (D). 

How do we train our eyes to see the world in value? There are some very simple strategies we can use when we observe the world around us. The first step is to learn how to deal with color information.

To see these strategies in action, watch the video below or continue reading for the in-depth breakdown.


 
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The Ultimate Guide to Good Figure Drawing Reference

Yes it is and it is long overdue. I’ve been asked countless times by students, friends and artists in training about getting good reference for figure drawing and head drawing studies. With the unfortunate lack of a centralized and well organized image gallery, it’s about damn time this issue is settled once and for all.

I’ve posted some of my personal reference collection here in one place, also known as The Official Freshdesigner Good Reference Gallery (GRG). There’s a ton of great reference I’ve personally gathered and hand-picked from various sources.

Good figure drawing reference gallery: Freshdesigner.com/figure-drawing-reference

In the section ‘Where To Find Good Reference‘, I’ve listed the best photographers, websites and books that I know of. These sources produce ideal reference and stock photos for artists. The GRG and the list should be more than enough to keep a hungry and motivated artist busy for a while :).

If you want learn how to find your own good reference, read on…

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Proportion Lecture Notes

The webinar series on Head Drawing for Illustration will continue tonight. The handout below are the notes from the webinar episode on proportion. This is a simplified model that describes the core measurements that I use over and over again.  The next webinar will be tonight, 11/27/12, @ 6:30 pm (PST).  Click here to watch the live stream on the webinar page.

Simplified proporational analysis.

Planes of the Head Lecture Notes & Critique

This is the handout from the ‘Planes of the Head’ lecture from the Live Concept Art Webinar. There’s also a critique of a student’s homework below.  The assignment was to sculpt the simplified ‘Planar Model’. Thank you for all the great homework submissions.  To join the live webinar or view past shows, visit the webinar page. Our next meeting will be this Tuesday, 11/13/12 @ 6:30pm.

Simplified Planar Model.

Critique of a student’s homework submission. Great job on the sculpt!

Tutorial Video: How to Render Concept Art Part 6 – Finishing Touches

In this final episode of the Concept Art tutorial series we add the finishing touches to our creature concept. We will paint the last bit of polish and detail and also create a simple background and make our concept presentable. We take the concept to the final stage so it can be handed off to production or as a marketing illustration. Narrated by the artist.

Tutorial Video: How to Render Concept Art Part 5 – Adding Textures

In part 5 of the Concept Art Tutorial series, we add texture. Using a combination of photographs, photo manipulation, and Photoshop blending modes we seamlessly add texture to our creature design.  This technique will quickly add a nice layer of texture, detail and color variation.  Narrated by the artist.

 

Tutorial Video – How to Render Concept Art Part 4: Adding Color


In part 4 of the Concept Art Tutorial series we add glazes of color to our tonal underpainting. We’ll use the color theory and strategies from the last video to create depth, model form and bring our creature design to life. This video demonstrates how to use blending modes and layers to add a transparent wash, or glaze, of color while preserving the tones and values established in the previous tutorial videos. Narrated by the artist.