This is the place where i`ll store those small tips, ideas and concepts that tend to stick in your mind and help you while you are working on a piece.
I will be gathering them from books, workshops and studies from well rounded artists and perhaps one day from my own personal observations.
3D Total "Making of Sunset"
"The style of No style" Bruce Lee
Everyone is unique, like a fingerprint. Learn from everyone but express yourself honestly.
"The most interesting facial expressions are combinations of basic expressions." Peter De Sève
I was working on a piece and i finally got the facial expression i wanted, meanwhile a package arrived. It was "A Sketchy Past" from Peter De Sève, i opened the book and i read this.: "For Instance if you combine a grin with a knit brow, you get a psychotic expression." Talking about timing right? Hehe...
"Form follows function"
You are all probably tired of this one...or not, truth is, sometimes, in the middle of the creative process ecstasy, when confronted with beautiful lines and shapes (see tip #1) people tend to lose focus and objectivity. In the end the result will feel misplaced or out of context, it could work as a statue but it will not walk, fly or swim and so on. For instance, if you design a tank that is small, thin, has lots of windows and a small jacuzzi on the side, it better be carrying some "heavy homing deadly laser" to balance things out or else it will be going down in a blink of an eye. Or lets say you are designing a character that is a fearless assassin, rides a mysterious black horse and is known for being fast and stealthy, make sure he hasn't been eating at McDonald's lately please! Adapt your designs to the function they will enroll after they are born from your hands.
"Cool light makes warm shadows, and warm light makes cool shadows."
This is relative to the colors is question also, you can have warm light and have warm shadow colors, what happen is: there will be cool colors mixed in also. The only exception to this rule, says Richard Schmid, is the darkest dark, it doesnt matter if the light is warm or cool, the darkest dark will always, always be warm, the warmest color in the piece.
"Draw the way you paint, paint the way you draw."
I read this at John Park blog and it just sticked, the riddle like format just made me think and think and think, until it finally clicked "Ohhhhh, so that`s it!" Also i eared Craig Mullins mention a 19th century saying that "Painting is 90% drawing", if you remove color and value from the mix this becomes quite apparent. So if you "draw" with lines or just large blocks of value just "draw the way you paint and paint the way you draw."
"...if you keep the edges in the mouth soft, i guarantee you, the mouth will look like its about to open up and speak...try it!" Richard Schmid
This is also true in the eyes, as most of us started drawing with lines, later we have the tendency to do the same while painting, to divide spaces. Keep the edges of these features soft ( and for that matter, similar value wise ) and you will get much better results!
"everything number 3" James Paick
One of my favourite concepts, it`s more difficult to apply than it seems ( at least to me) because it has many layers. When building an image keep in mind: rule of thirds, foreground/midground/background, 3 main values, 3 interest areas, 1/3 light/dark ratio (or dark/light) and overlap overlap overlap the elements of the picture. Now you just have to put everything together!
"...beyond a given point, usually just past the block-in, most additional work tends to weaken the strength of my painting." Alla Prima, Richard Schmid
This was a problem of mine since i started drawing/painting, i would love my sketch but as i started painting on top of it or just refining some of the lines, that energy, that expressiveness would be lost. Last summer at a Q&A session i asked James Paick what to do about this, he said "Just be ultra dynamic". Also few weeks ago i listened Feng Zhu talking about the same problem, he mentioned that after the first generation drawings, the 2nd generation, 3rd and so on would progressively lose that energy, that vibrance of the first sketch. So in conclusion, avoid too much retouching and keep those lines as dynamic and fluid as they can be.
"Kill your darlings" Iain McCaig
I think everybody went through this at some time. So you are drawing this human figure for example, you arrive to the shoulder area and you draw this beautiful shoulder shape, the line is expressive, the anatomy is there, blablabla, "omg this is great stuff!", you proceed to draw the rest of the figure that ends up being, well, not so good, except for, that's right, that awesome shoulder. You will probably noodle it a little more and proudly smile at it. Well...sorry to say...that needs to go down, kill it, erase it, and draw the entire figure again and again and again if needed, until everything looks right. Kill your darlings.