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Old 03-27-2020, 09:20 PM   #1
Leo656
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Sometimes I Do Stuff.

So I've been trying to stay productive. I picked up some small canvases a while ago and just haven't gotten around to using them, so I figured I'd try something kinda simple. I haven't done any painting on canvas or anything since like 1998 or something. Never been particularly great at it but I figured I'd give it a try.



Drawn and painted from scratch based on the opening still shot from the 1940s Fleischer Superman animated shorts. Altogether it's better than I expected. Not bad for being 20+ years out of practice, I figure.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:24 PM   #2
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Hey, man. I didn't know you had art chops! Keep it coming!
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:35 PM   #3
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Hah, sometimes. I used to draw more than anything but it's been a while since I practiced regularly.

When I was in 8th grade I got to go to some special arts school once or twice a week as part of some program, like two kids from every school in the state got to go to this school for whatever their "talent" was. Mine was visual arts and the other kid's was music, I think. It was fun. I definitely could have applied myself more but I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I always felt guilty though because I felt like a lot of other kids deserved it more than me, but I'unno I didn't book it.

Just tough to find time to practice anything in recent years, but Time is one thing I have plenty of at the moment.

Took about an hour to do the sketch and then about 12 hours to paint it. Painting the black outlines was the most difficult and time-consuming part. The colors were the easiest because the shading of the original animation was very minimal, which is partly why I wanted to do this.
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:45 AM   #4
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Inking has stopped me dead in my tracks. I like to draw, but my hand isn't steady enough to ink well. I'm sure practice would help, but I don't have a lot of time on my hands anymore. Or the guts to do it.

Regardless, this is some really sweet stuff. I'm glad you shared, and hope you get some more out there!
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:49 PM   #5
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Not a huge fan of inking myself, as it feels rather redundant, but sometimes I force myself to do it if I want the pencil drawing to hold up and not get all smeared over time. Some things I just leave alone. For a while I went through a phase where I sketched exclusively in pen, which was a pretty good challenge because it forces you to really take care with your lines. Also eliminates the "inking" step, even though the finished product looks more "sketchy" than smooth or clean, but some things look better that way. Not a bad way of enforcing discipline.

My biggest problem with drawing is that I have an incredibly heavy hand. Always did. My teachers tried everything they could to correct it but I could never shake it. Even if I just "sketch" you can see the indents on the other side of the paper. Obviously a problem because it's very hard to correct any mistakes if you put your lines down too thick. Using a mechanical pencil helps a little bit, since it's a much finer point than a regular #2. I've tried several different brands of "drawing pencils" but they generally still draw too thick of a line, which I acknowledge is still at least partly my own fault. But a mechanical pencil or regular Bic pen generally works pretty well. I still press too hard but it's not as much of a problem.

When I do ink, I generally just use a regular Bic pen. I feel like I have more control than with a regular felt tip; even the fine-point ones have
a little bit of "bleed", and I don't like that. Depends what I'm working on. I know some people ink with a brush, and having done all the linework on the above piece with a brush I can definitely see the appeal, but man, that must take forever. And the fine details are such a bitch. I'unno how that's some people's preference. Bless 'em, though.

I also don't have any patience and have a really hard time leaving anything for later, so if I start something I almost always force myself to push through and finish it, even though that's not good because you'll often rush things that way. It's just how I'm wired, though.

I did start on something else; if it turns out acceptable I might share it.
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Old 03-29-2020, 12:10 AM   #6
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For someone that hasn't done any work with paints in a long minute, that Superman painting looks really good, man.

Since there was a discussion about inking your images, fine point sharpie markers work well, but sharpie pens are really good with taking care with and around the detail work.

As for mechanical pencils, I found that PaperMate Sharpwriters to be more 'tolerating' than BiC's - the BiC lead tends to break off a lot easier if too much pressure is applied, or if you fast sketch at multiple angles. The only downside for a SharpWriter is that you have to rotate the cone on the pencil to extract more lead.

Anyhoo, that's a nice painting that you've shared for us, Leo.

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Old 03-30-2020, 05:00 PM   #7
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Thanks! To be fair, I've been doing a fair amount of painting while doing my figure customizing, but I hadn't counted on any of that carrying over into this kind of thing. Although I guess to be fair that also requires some fine detail work and such.

The thing I hate most about the Bic mechanical pencils isn't so much the tip breaking off, it's that stupid pocket clip on the side. No matter how I try to hold the pencil it always rolls around so that thing digs into the side of my finger. Very uncomfortable.

Anyways, I finished another one this afternoon that I'd been working on for a couple of days:



Inspired by the cover of the "Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn II" trade paperback. I sat down to read it the other day and instead I did this.

This one was a lot more challenging than the Superman one, since there was a ton more linework, shading, and small details. Once again, the sketch was done with a regular Bic mechanical pencil on 8x10 canvas, and everything else in acrylics. I wanted to try something a little bit more challenging since I really liked how the first painting came out. I had to blend a lot of different shades for this one, especially for the background. Altogether, it took a bit under 20 hours; I spent about 4 hours today working on the small details in the face and some of the highlights and shading elsewhere. The background only took about two hours, for comparison.

Again, the outlines and such were the most difficult and time-consuming part since I insist on using a brush for everything, including the outlines and small details. I will say that just knowing which brush to use where is half the "work"; I have a really good fine-tip brush that works great, and it definitely got a workout on this piece. I think I only used three different brushes on this one, and definitely spent the most time with the fine-tip one. I pretty much just used a wide one to dry-brush the background, and I have a fairly thin one that worked well for filling in the colored areas, but most of the work was done using thin lines. I think the highlights came out pretty well, given that there was a ton of shading involved in this.

I only have one canvas left. They're cheap, though, so when I have a reason to go to Wal-Mart I'll be sure and pick up more.
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:02 AM   #8
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How well does the canvas receive the pencil?

I get mixed opinions from artists. I've met artists who love them, and others who feel they're too damaging to the medium on which they're applied.

I got an entire set of Staetler drawing pencils and mechanical pencils filled with different types of lead. I'm not entirely sure which I prefer myself.
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:29 AM   #9
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Y'know, great question. The biggest problem I have is simply that the pencil lines don't erase well at all, they mostly just smear (although using a circular motion with the eraser helps a little bit). Part of that is certainly because I have a heavy hand, as mentioned before, but even on very light lines it's hard to get full erasure. I'm sure that might be a big problem for some people if drawing isn't their strongest area, but it actually doesnt bother me TOO much since I end up painting over everything, anyway. So as long as the basic sketch is mostly good, I can easily fix up or cover up any problem areas.

At least one of my teachers used to stress that if the under-sketch is strong, the painting you lay over top of it should be strong as well. I know some people can just throw paint down without a sketch and come up with a masterpiece but I'm far away from that category. I had forgotten how much different it is to sketch on rough canvas versus smooth paper, but as I said, as long as you don't just slap down lines anywhere and expect to get them off with no trouble, it's not too bad. The paint fixes everything. I don't see any damage or issues with the canvas itself from using the mechanical pencil. I personally don't think I could use a regular #2 for this kind of thing because I historically can't get the finer details like the eyes to look right if the pencil tip is too thick, and that would probably throw me off a bit when trying to paint over it later. I need a really fine point because I'm simply not terrific at small details. I have in the past had some problems with the mechanical pencil going right through paper, but so far no problem on the canvas. It's just plain old canvas I got at Walmart for nothing, but so far so good.

Hope that helps!
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:51 PM   #10
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duuude! those are sick! i tip the ole hat to ya sir
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:04 PM   #11
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Both very nice. Acrylic or oil? I'm guessing acrylic?
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:56 PM   #12
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Wow! Nice, Leo, had no idea you were artistically inclined. Those are really good.
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Old 03-31-2020, 11:31 PM   #13
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Thanks! Yeah, acrylics, it's all I have right now.

I've always drawn and stuff but I'm not much of a "Look-At-Me Stanley", so I never bothered to put anything out there. This was something kinda new that came out better than I expected though.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:35 PM   #14
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So hey, I did another thing. It's Halloween Season, and I haven't done a canvas painting in a while, since April actually. So it seemed like a good a time as any to give 'er another go. I started this one two days ago and finished up the fine details today. It's the hardest one I've done so far by a long shot, BUT altogether I'm pretty happy with it. Here ya go:



Hand-drawn on 8x10 canvas and then painted with acrylics. Altogether probably took about 15-16 hours from first sketch line to last brush stroke. I haven't even drawn Freddy Krueger since I was like 7 or 8 years old, and I've never even attempted to render him in paint! This was a ton of fun to do.

Lots and LOTS of dry-brushing, especially on the sweater When I did the sketch, I did not draw the burn marks or any of those sort of details, I knew I was going to add all of those free-hand with the fine brush to make it look more organic. The face and left hand are done in five different colors and flesh tones of varying contrast - Dark Tan, Warm Tan, Light Brown, Dark Brown, and Sunkissed Peach - to draw out all the burn marks and make it look really textured. The eyes and teeth were actually painted in a soft yellow to make them look more diseased and rotten, then gone over with a light layer of black. For the green stripes on the sweater, I actually laid down a base line of dark brown, then dry-brushed over it with a green that's actually kind of bright because it's the darkest green I have, THEN went over it again with another dry-brush layer of dark brown and I think that made the color just about perfect. The red is just a regular "Stop Sign Red", but again I did a thin layer of dry-brush Dark Brown to make it look dingy and dirty, and I went over the whole sweater with a very fine dry-brush of dark brown using side-to-side strokes, then up-and-down strokes, to give it that sweater-like texture and make it look less like a plain shirt.

I think it came out pretty good. Again, this was kind of a challenge I set for myself because I've never done anything half this complicated. But on the whole I'm pretty happy with it.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:02 PM   #15
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Very nice.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:07 PM   #16
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Thanks man! I feel more and more confident with every one of these I manage to do. So far I'm 3 for 3!

Anything specific you like about it? I'm open to hear about anything, it can only help. This stuff isn't easy, but it's pretty relaxing and I really like doing it. Very odd, since I think I used to be fairly sh*tty at it when I was younger.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:20 PM   #17
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Damn, that's awesome. A talent of yours revealed to me.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo656 View Post
Thanks man! I feel more and more confident with every one of these I manage to do. So far I'm 3 for 3!

Anything specific you like about it? I'm open to hear about anything, it can only help. This stuff isn't easy, but it's pretty relaxing and I really like doing it. Very odd, since I think I used to be fairly sh*tty at it when I was younger.
The flames. I really, really like the flames.

Also, surprisingly, there's a lot of great texture on the pants, the way the creases fall. Not something I noticed at first, actually.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:09 PM   #19
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I do my very best in all things.

I gotta repost the other two paintings to Instagram so that the picture links will stay active longer and the photos won't just vanish.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The flames. I really, really like the flames.

Also, surprisingly, there's a lot of great texture on the pants, the way the creases fall. Not something I noticed at first, actually.
I always do the background first! Thick layer of black, then a dry-brushing of various reds and oranges hugging tightly to the outline of the body figure, then contrasting layers of reds, oranges, and yellows. I used a mix of matte and gloss colors to make the contrast really "pop" and "crackle".

I really like how the pants came out as well. The sweater dominates the center image, especially with its red/green contrast, but I tried to make the entire outfit really textured, even the "plain" areas. So for the pants, I laid down a base layer of dark brown, then gradually went over it with layers of Dark Gray and then some more Dark Brown, then finished it off with a dry-brushing of plain matte Black for the shadows and matte White for the highlights.

The hat, as well, is a base of Dark Brown, then a layered mix of Light Brown, Dark Gray, more Dark Brown, then a little Black for shadow and White for highlights, all dry-brushed in.

The dry-brush technique is so, so important for texture. I'unno where this one's been all my life. They probably taught it to us as kids and I probably just couldn't crack it, like many other things. The idea of "Put paint on the brush, and then take, like, ALL the paint off of the brush, and then lay your strokes down" probably went completely over my head. But I discovered it while learning how to paint action figures and holy sh*t, it's so easy and so essential. Pretty much every inch of the figure has been dry-brushed at least twice, from clothes to skin, and I think it really gives it a rougher, more three-dimensional look all-around.

Learning the importance of layered colors and shading is a big deal, and really only comes through study and practice. I don't really have a set "color plan" when I sit down to paint, I just look at whatever my reference picture is and try and pay attention to the contrast points, whether they're soft or hard, etc. etc. Surprisingly, although challenging so far none of the three paintings I've finished have been what I'd call "difficult". Certainly not "easy" but much easier than I thought they'd be. This was never my preferred medium, but I actually find it to be the easiest to work with because any "mistakes", you can just go over again in two seconds like it never happened.

Give it a try, everyone; you can spend ten or twelve bucks at Walmart and have literally everything everything you need. It's very therapeutic. And best-case, you can make a couple bucks or have something nice to hang on your wall.
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