Saturday, July 14, 2018

Back To Basics - Izzy's Three Simple Rules of Light

 Unlike drawing, where lines are used to delineate shapes and forms, painting uses light and shadows to describe an object or surface.  Very basic idea it seems. But the challenge is to be able to visualize how light is affecting a surface correctly. It's a fundamental skill an artist needs to master, if being able to paint without copying from reference is the goal.   One amazing concept artist/illustrator who explained the concept of light and shadow really well is Izzy Medrano in his YouTube videos, which are found here & here.

My 3 Rules Of Light painting exercises toggled with Izzy's paint-over critques,  plus his red number indicators for his notes as enumerated below.

  He breaks down those fundamental principles in three simple rules, that seemed deceptively easy. This is how he  breaks it down: (Watch his full explanations from here and here)
1. Objects most perpendicular to the light gets the most light.
2  Light's power gets weaker on more distant objects.
3. If something solid is between your object and your light source, the object gets NO light.
  - Every object that is lit by the light source, itself becomes another light source.
  - The light being bounced cannot be as bright as the original light source.

  To completely understand Izzy's 3 simple rules, I did some painting studies, using black and white photo references. Then I analyzed the photo reference's lighting, by transferring the lighting info unto a light sphere, showing the direction of the light source.  Then apply those lighting information onto a completely new surface forms.   To determine if I did a good job, I submitted this study to Izzy in his Patreon page for his critique.

   He did some paint-overs and gave me a few notes, which  were very helpful.   Here are his notes: (Please refer to the images with numbers as indicated in red.)
1. Your light sphere is almost  directly overhead. The specular and hot spots on the cheeks and nose tell us that the light source is closer to us on this side of the picture plane.
2. There is no reflected light in your origin image.
3. The cat is half-lit according to the rules of the image with the same lighting as the image though the object shouldn't catch light the same way.  Reference would help you figure out your planes, so that you can tell which surfaces are more likely to face up to the light source. A cat doesn't have the same planes as a human does. So a cats nose can't cast a shadow like a persons, and that's why you have a big black streak on the second image's face.
4. These eyes look flat. The overall face needs more reference in the same way 3 does.

  With this exercise, it is humbling to say that my main difficulty was in visualizing correctly the many subtle planar shifts of the surface form, and how light would affect them correctly. Also, good references for my studies should have been used, to correctly understand and render the different subtle form and plane changes.  With these new insights, I need to do more of these and have them reviewed and critiqued again, which would help solidify those three simple rules of light into my brain, and then hopefully, would serve as a good foundation as I develop my skills to become an artist who is not a reference slave. 

  If any artist is interested in learning and understanding the logic of light and color, I highly recommend Izzy Medrano's tutorials that can be found in his Gumroad page.  And perhaps be a patron of his and get critiques of your work.  You can check him out in  his Patreon page.

  So, if you've watched and did the Izzy's 3 Simple Rules assignment practice also, how did you find the exercise? How did your study turned out?  Love to hear and see what you've done.


Monday, January 8, 2018

First Post for 2018 - Ianna's Portrait

First up for the new year, it's human portraiture!  I have been shying away from drawing human portraits  for years because I find it harder to capture the likeness.  Those who know the person in the drawing would quickly tell me if  I succeeded or not.  Unlike animals, no one would complain. Haha...

Here's the portrait of my niece, Ianna. A gift for her 18th birthday.  Painting straight in color still intimidates me, so as a safety method and as always, I started painting in greyscale.   Making sure the value structure was right,   All the hard work was done at  this stage. Once I was satisfied with it, I then glazed-in the color on a top layer set in the color blend mode.  I used Clip Studio Paint Ex this time, which is very similar to Photoshop. 

So for this year, I'm thinking of expanding my artistic horizon and include humans in my drawings and paintings.  Might do some  of my fave celebrities.  Watch out for it!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Five Dogs Painting

This five dogs painting was a request by my sister.  It took a few days to capture good photos of these dogs, as they don't sit still and were quite an unruly bunch.  So I would wait patiently for each to sit still and look my way, only then would I quickly snap a lot of  continuous shots from my phone. Luckily, out of many useless shots, I managed to find some good shots that showed each of their distinct personalities.

    I started sketching them in my Artrage app and laid them out in a horizontal format.  Since there's five of them and I wanted to finish it before Christmas, I decided to just draw their heads, 

 For the painting, Instead of using Artrage app which is my go to app, I decided to use Clip Studio Paint Ex to familiarize myself  more with that app.    I'm still trying to learn and understand values, so I painted them in greyscale first.   To get the correct values, I  converted their photos to black and white first.  It was so enlightening to see what the real values of their colors really are.   Choco was a surprise to me because her brownish color was very light when seen in greyscale. I thought she would be a bit darker than Snowy, Creamy and Brownie. 

One of the basic painting skills I'm  learning is understanding the correct value structure. I'm no way near understanding that concept yet. But I know getting the correct values would make adding colors easier.   Below is the final version in color.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Quick Sketch - Lion

 In my art-learning journey, there are days I don't feel like sticking to the theme I set for myself.  I was on a horse drawing theme a few weeks back. But for some reason I just wanted to draw something else.   And's  a quick sketch of a lion's head.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Furry Goat

It's been awhile since I last posted a sketch. . I had been receiving some photo references from, for some time now, and  haven't sketched any of them until today.  It's a furry goat.  

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Back To Basics -Horse Studies 3

More horse studies  I haven't drawn the horse's skeleton before until now..  This helps me in taking  notes on the proportion and rhythm of it's skeletal structure. The body usually fits inside a square.  I've also animated it's basic walk cycle using Clip Studio Paint Ex, while the rest of the sketches were drawn in Artrage 5. Jack Hamm's, Ken Hultgren's,  Gottfried Bammes', Eliot Goldfinger's, Famous Artists Course books were used as my study reference books.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Back To Basics - Horse Studies 02

More horse studies. I used Jack Hamm's How to Draw Animals, and Gottfried Bammes' The Artist's Guide To Drawing Animals books for reference..  I've collected a number of books over the years but it's only now that I'm looking at them more closely.   

Friday, October 13, 2017

Back To Basics - Horse Studies

After months of  doing my Daily Sketch drawing series, it surely helped gain me back my confidence in drawing animals. Using photographs either from friends or found online as references, I would draw different animals by copying it.  It served a purpose of harnessing my observational drawing skills, a fundamental skill any artist should have.  But now it's time to really learn animal drawing a bit more deeply.

And so,  I'm now taking a slower pace to practice and study some animal anatomy and construction with the goal of eventually being able to draw, and design animals and creatures from imagination.  Thus, I'm starting a new drawing series - Back To  Basics. I plan to go back to learning the fundamentals  of not only animal drawing, but also that of figure drawing, human anatomy, perspective, composition, design, and color.   Listing all of that can seemed really daunting. So  I'll take one small step everyday. No pressure. Just learn it till it sticks.

So for now, here's some Horse Studies.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Daily Sketch 121 - Tiger Head

Tiger Head

Time for big cats. It's a head study of a tiger. .  It won't be enough for me to just sketch this in greyscale. like in my previous cat heads.  It is such a bright-colored animal.  So I glazed some bright orangey color that tigers usually have.  As for the stripes, inking it with the pen tool seemed appropriate, and then scraped  it with the palette knife tool to achieve some fur texture and then blended it to soften it after.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Daily Sketch 120 - Cat Laugh.

More feline cuteness.... cats that seem to be laughing.   These are copied from cat photo references,
and it's amazing how cartoon-like their expression looks.