Drawing / Sketching / Digital Painting

The Concept Art Playbook - by Ctrl+Paint.

That looks really cool. I'm game.
The first challenge is: BRUTE - 3rd person brawler, medium difficulty, twice as large as the player, carries a melee weapon

i kinda wish it was the spider bot but then, as he says, that's the whole point - you can't pick your briefs

I don't see why you can't do a spider bot also.
And there is nothing that says that a spider bot won't work for the brute assignment...

It actually might be fun to combine them. There doesn't necessarily appear to be conflicting requirements.

1st person shooter (really only relates to the player not enemies in this case)
has low health
can climb walls and ceilings
supports ranged and melee

Low heath and twice the size of the player seem to be the starkest contrast but we can come up with ways to address this.

I decided to use this as inspiration for the inktober prompt i was stuck on

No 16 - "Blue"


That Concept Art Playbook video was very interesting! I'm going to try to do the assignments, at least for the first few weeks. Is it a weekly thing? I don't recall seeing that specified anywhere. In any case, thanks for sharing, pyxistyx!

i assume it'll be weekly. wasn't sure myself.

Great work pyxi!

pyxistyx wrote:

i assume it'll be weekly. wasn't sure myself.

Thanks! That sounds doable, if that's the case.

Forgot to check in with these, so there's three new challenges up!

I have come to accept I am not going to have time to do this, but I'll be curious to see what you friends come up with.

Dear LORD why did no-one tell me gesture drawing was this hard from the start? Bleuragh.

This program looks pretty awesome. Its free in open beta and while it can get a lot more complicated and has more tools, it can function as a nice replacement for a pose program like Design Doll. It doesn't have neutral male and female models that you can adjust height and limb sizes. It does have several stock mannequins that are pre-rigged and what it does with them is amazing. The pre-rigged models have masses assigned to the body parts so that they move realistically and uses AI to determine if you are trying to do a flip or hold or hang or stand/land onto something. So things like grabbing your feet are much easier and less time consuming that with traditional methods.

Don't be confused with its rigging tools. You can't create bones and assign skin weights with an imported model. Their rigging assumes you have a model with bones and skin weights. It then lets you assign mass to body parts so that when you animate say a fall, you pick a start and end position and the software bends the legs and torso at the destination to cushion the fall based on the distance traveled and the masses of the body parts.

It is geared towards animation but I think that these systems will really help with more dynamic poses that interact naturally with objects in scenes. An the less time consuming it is, the more complex and dynamic the poses will be. Plus with the pre-rigged models it should be extremely easy to get pick up.

This is the drawing for a t-shirt I was commissioned to do for a virtual 5K taking place next month:


I had a blast drawing it!

811 looks like the offspring of Crimedog McGruff

For real! His name is Digger Dog, and he's actually their mascot, which they wanted me to include in the drawing.

I like that the black dude's shirt says what I say whenever I run.

What do you say?

#@! and various other deeply un-Christian things. Usually as i'm finishing up.

In other news, we have moved from "gesture drawing is hard, I hate it" to "I swear to Christ, I'm going to figure this out purely out of spite."

Trivia time, 811 is "Call Before You Dig". I work for a pipeline company. You're supposed to call 48 hours before starting a project, even in your backyard. Utilities will then come out and mark where the buried lines are. It's annoying if you cut your own cable or phone line, it can be deadly if you strike a natural gas pipeline.

On to art, did anyone else do the Eon Art Board Ready to Ink series? I ordered and received, but haven't had a chance to sit down and get started. I might give it a go this weekend


In other news, we have moved from "gesture drawing is hard, I hate it" to "I swear to Christ, I'm going to figure this out purely out of spite."

I don't think gesture drawing is something to figure out other than it is something to "do" and not be concerned with "why" or "how".
Your brain is not a stopping point between your hand and your eye. You are training the brain to become a pass through. Judgement kills artistic growth.

So as you know, I have been on a digital art discovery journey and there have been a lot of lessons learned.
I bought a touch screen laptop that came with a wacom tech stylus (I don't think it is microsoft's tech). I bought and returned a 13" pen display. I bought and returned a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. And I bought an iPad and Apple pencil.
Spoilered to save screen space.

Spoiler: Start Simple

I am here to say that one of the youtubers I like to watch for impressions was absolutely right for when you are starting out in digital art. Even if, like me, you have been an artist for a long time and have had past experience with drawing tablets, you should start with a drawing tablet. The non monitor kind and the much cheaper kind

Spoiler: Back to the future

I went about this the bass ackwards way and ended up with the XP-Pen Deco Pro Small drawing pad. Yes, as much as the drawing experience felt nice on the iPad, I discovered a few things about my digital input habits and returned it as well

Spoiler: Mouse husbandry

Flat out, I have been using the mouse for so long, that the combination of the 1-1 interactivity/cursor (as compared to a mouse's relative cursor, this is as clear as I can characterize it), my brain just being hard wired to adjust to drawing on the screen directly, and as good as the drawing sensation is on the iPad (it was the best with the Galaxy close and the laptop a distant 3rd) the drawing pad is better and more natural.

Spoiler: Get bent

There are other things like the ergonomics of the devices. With the laptop and stand alone tablets, I wanted to lay it flat and draw with my neck bent an unhealthy degrees downward. With the drawing pad, I could hold/rest the pad flat and draw looking forward at my elevated laptop. It was not only very easy to adjust to the mechanics of not drawing directly on the screen, but it made the adjustment to the 1-1 interactivity/cursor a breeze

Spoiler: No losers

Now, mind you, there is the cost factor. And all of the more advanced and fancy technologies have come a long way with both lowering costs without sacrificing performance or feel. The pen display was only $270 and didn't skimp on the color quality or feel. I should have tried it with my laptop but its biggest limitations were space on my desk and the cabling. (it included a usb-c for video, a usb-a to transfer input, and another usb-a for power) So it was not portable.

Spoiler: Galaxy quest

At some point I may buy the Galaxy tab s6 lite again. It was a great tablet and it was only $350 which will go on sale at some point I am sure. Its problem is that I have a 2 in 1 laptop that covers most of its functionality well enough that its benefits are too niche for $350. The cool thing is I can use my drawing pad with android devices too :)

Spoiler: Bad apple

I will not buy the iPad again. It was cheaper than the Galaxy tab but you needed to pay $100 more for the Apple pencil so it is less of a bargain. It was a great experience and it had more productivity possibilities because of the shear volume of apps as compared to android. But it also competed and lost to my 2 in 1 laptop and if it is just going to be a tablet with doodling possibilities, then I'll go with the Galaxy Tab.

Spoiler: Padded stats

So, sorry for wall of text but I have been playing around with the Deco Pro drawing pad for 40 minutes and I love it. I have only tried sketchbook so far but the same isometric building style drawing I posted before was so much easier. My strokes were more even and straight. I spent so much more time undoing strokes on the iPad and Galaxy. Another key thing is the Deco Pro has 8 hotkeys and a touchpad wheel. The sensitivity on the touchpad was too high but can be adjusted. It should be really useful. Another key thing to note here is with the drawing pad, I have not set up any of the hotkeys, yet they are there and I didn't feel the need for them. Nor did I mind that my keyboard was out of arms length, which was a problem with the pen display and the laptop when in tablet or easel mode. I also experienced similar awkwardness with the iPad and Galaxy switching back and forth with the pen and touch controls. (laptop too, plus it is more confusing with the built in track pad)

Here is my first 20-30 minute creation:

A few more things about the XP Pen Deco Pro Small.
The drawing dimensions are 9x5 which I guessed right would be perfect for me. Many of these tablets are 10x6 or 11x6 (11x7). If you go lower you get into the 6x4 or 7x5 range which I feel is too close to drawing on my laptop's trackpad. (they do make 4x3 drawing pads!) Plus that 6x4 drawing seems like it is wasting more space with the 1-2 inch bezel for the unusable border and the hotkey space.

10x6 or 11x7 also would be more difficult to fit/hold on top of the laptop keyboard between me and the monitor. 9x5 sits neatly in my lap and doesn't cover the entire keyboard and trackpad of the laptop. It also doesn't take up almost the entire width of a backpack so I can squash it between more padding when I am taking it with my laptop to work. As a matter of fact, I am sure it will fit nicely in my macbook 15 inch padded cover that my 14 lenovo will not fit into.

Side note, the 9x5 drawing area on the Deco Pro I roughly estimated to the same 10 inch diagonal of the iPad. The pen is battery free which is amazing and tilt capable which I don't consider useful for me. At least not useful yet.

I was considering another tablet, the Huion Q620M because it was wireless. But it was $10 more, didn't have the touchpad dial and was bigger (10.5 x 6.6). Huion is supposed to be a bit higher quality according to those promoting it, but people rave about XP-Pen (especially the 12 inch pen display) and I certainly a convert

I am looking forward to catching up on a bunch of these drawing prompt exercises next week.

I've only been using Procreate once in a while, and yet yesterday I found myself using the zoom in gesture on a sheet of actual paper.

For the record, it does not work

rotating the canvas works GREAT though!

Undo is broken as is Ctrl Z
The stylus has no right click button
Ctrl C and Ctrl V is a lengthy multi-step process.
The screen feel is indistinguishable from paper though, which is really nice!

There's also no layer feature, which is infuriating, and while it has a lot of different brushes, you have to pay for each one individually.

At least you don't have to watch and ad to do it ;P

So if you have a laptop and a drawing pad, and you drool over some of the drawing and sculpting apps on android, get Bluestacks. It is amazing and saved me $200 on Zbrush lite, plus $400-$650 on a tablet. Oh and so far it works flawlessly for games and apps like Nomad I mentioned above, and infinite painter, medibang etc and hopefully clip studio paint soon.
(I know clip studio is available on Win 10 but it may have an ad supported free version on android)

Well and just imagine playing android games and apps with 16GB of RAM, a ~3.6ghz cpu and even a discreet gpu like a 2080 ti!

Several of my chimp drawings found a new home at an art auction hosted by my wife. I hope they bring joy to their new owners!