Concept Cookie » Exercise http://cgcookie.com/concept Concept Art Tutorials and Training Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:54:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Exercise 28: Let’s Draw Clouds http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/07/21/exercise-28-lets-draw-clouds/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/07/21/exercise-28-lets-draw-clouds/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:35:27 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=17236 Exercise_Feature-copyHow do Exercises work and how can I participate? Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe. The community will submit their own work along ]]> Exercise_Feature-copy

How do Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, August 1, THIS post will be updated with the new images and any tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 28 (E28) – Let’s Draw Clouds

EXERCISE:  Being confident in drawing different types of clouds and how to add lighting accurately

  • Two (2) Week Exercise!

This is a good starter for learning environments. Clouds are a staple in creating and establishing grand scenes. Clouds themselves are not easy to draw at first without using reference or understanding how lighting affects different clouds. You often see “cloud stamps” used in matte painting but those don’t accurately teach you how to shade and render different clouds. Brushes can be recommend and one will be created as a Concept Cookie Citizen exclusive.

THIS IS NOT a color exercise, so colors can be whatever you choose, but be wary and try learning with conventional colors first before trying fantastical color combinations. Once you learn how to shade clouds accurately first, then your clouds will be much more impressive with any color scheme you decide on.

There are plenty of names for different clouds based on their altitude but lets focus on 3 different types, Stratus, Cirrus, and Cumulus. These are the main three types of clouds and then Nimbus describes clouds that create precipitation, whether that be rain or snow depending on the temperature. On the handout worksheet below there are four clouds to draw in this exercise. Here are some basic guidelines on each:

  • 1. Stratus Clouds (low, uniform ones) – These are the clouds that hang low, close to the lands they hover over. Focus on create a flatter bottom with some atmospheric perspective.
  • 2. Cirrus Clouds (the “wispy” ones) – These are tough because of how wispy and undefined they are. Try using a soft edge brush to create the illusion that these clouds are drifting throughout the air.
  • 3. Cumulus Clouds (the puffy, solid ones) – The most fun to draw. These are the clouds that have shaping and form to them. Keep the surface irregular and the lighting consistent.
  • 4. Nimbus Clouds (rain, storm clouds) – This takes a combination of stratus and cumulus clouds. Take the lighting behind the clouds and use reference to see how light passes through. The rain below will add some blur and a soft edge brush may be best here or the blur tool to create the accurate effect.

DOWNLOAD: Download this Exercise 28 Practice Sheet .PSD HERE.

Exercise_28_PracticeSheet

(You can hide the green extra tips and guidelines)

TIPS:

USE REFERENCE!

Although we see clouds almost on a daily basis, we might not accurately know how to depict those clouds when we draw them. Use a search engine and find reference images that relate to each of the four cloud types above to get started. Work with a combination of hard edge and soft edges to create the perfect blend of cloud building.

GOAL: To strengthen your cloud building abilities and how to render lighting passing through objects such as clouds

Having the ability to know how to shade and light a cloud is a must for those wanting to create environment concept and illustration pieces. The more practice you have, the better. So don’t stop with just this exercise, keep practicing on your own time and adding different color schemes. That is where the fun begins!

RELATED TUTORIALS:

The Results Update – August 1, 2014

Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to practice and strengthen your work!

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Exercise 27: Candy Study http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/06/23/exercise-27/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/06/23/exercise-27/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 01:37:39 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=16965 candyfeaturesHow do Exercises work and how can I participate? Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe. The community will submit their own work along ]]> candyfeatures

How do Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, July 4th, THIS post will be updated with the new images and any tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 27 (E27) – Candy Study

EXERCISE:  Analyzing how to look at different materials and textures and how to accurately capture shading and rendering them.

  • Two (2) Week Exercise!

While this exercise may sound sweet and simple, it’s actually quite the underlying challenge. We are looking at how to re-create 6 different types of candies and look at look at them analytically. So what distinguishes a jelly bear gummie from a candy cane? Just from looking at them both you can tell, They treat lighting differently and the surface material is vastly different. It is our job as digital artists to be able to analyze a material and be able to know how to capture and re-create the same look and feel on a canvas. So don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the allure of candy, for this exercise is bittersweet! What are the 6 confectionery treats we will be taking a closer look at? Go through each below with some tips to look for to re-create your own!

  • Jelly (Gummy) Bear – The light will be split, half being reflected and the other being absorbed. The light that passes through the surface will create a subsurface scattering effect making it appear as if the material has a soft glow of color.
  • Jelly Bean – This hard surface candy will still absorb some of that light must will mostly be reflected. If a gummy bear was 50/50 on light being reflected/absorbed, this would be around 75/25.
  • Peppermint – Recreating this surface will require an attentive focus to highlights and where you are placing them. Stay concentrated and intense will your highlights.
  • Sucker – This is similar to the gummy bear is that light will pass through and you can see the contents within (the stick of the sucker is still visible), but also carries the surface of a hard candy and will give more concentrated highlights similar to the peppermint.
  • Sugar Coated – This is all about the outer coating of texture. Take the initial direction of a gummy and then coat it with a speckle brush.
  • Licorice – This is similar to the peppermint but not as intense and the focus here will be on the ridges to accurately capture how light affects the surfaces.

DOWNLOAD: Download this Exercise 27 Practice Sheet .PSD HERE.

(You can hide the green extra tips and guidelines) Exercise27_SweetCandy

TIPS:

Reference. Reference. Reference. The best way to capture what you’re drawing is to look from reference. The internet can show you most anything you are looking for. Sometimes it helps taking the reference pictures yourself or having the subject matter in front of you. Below is an example of the 6 different candies from the exercise practice sheet. Really analyze the different candy and how each reflects and absorbs light. candyexamples We also had a candy contest last year looking to capture the different confectionary candies in character form. candycraverscontest

GOAL: To strengthen your analyzing skills to interpret different materials and textures.

This is sweet way to strengthen your artist eye and be able to capture different lighting information on different subject matters. Take what you learn from this and apply it to any texture and material!

RELATED TUTORIALS: Character Based and Getting Started.

The Results Update -

Here is my finished 6 candies with a step by step on how I went about doing each. I think it’s important to note that each step is rather simple once you break it down. It was also fun being able to see how colors interact on such a macro level of detailing from how many shades of red go into a gummy bear or to see how a simple gray bounce light can add soooo much more realism and depth to the drawing. I hope this guide helps you guys out if you were getting stuck at some point on your own.

  1. Outline - Begin with the overall look and shape to each candy, remembering to either have them be on a surface or nor.
  2. Solid Base - Choose a color and try grabbing colors from reference!
  3. Initial Detail Pass - Before laying down another color, focus on where you want your light source and stay consistent throughout! Also bear in mind whether the light will pass through the surface and be absorbed or will it be mostly reflected.
  4. Remove Outlines and Add Gradients - This will give the gem a solid foundation from here to detail further! Subtle gradients will add that extra touch of realism.
  5. Surface, Highlights, and Bounce Lighting – This is the hardest step. Really focus on the lighting on how it interacts with each candy. And for bounce lighting try working with the color in the local surrounding environment (in this case a neutral grey) The subtle surface textures will add a sense of realism as well.
  6. Highlights - This is a good exercise to see how color can pass with the lighting into the shadow, depending on the material you are working with. A gummy bear will pass color into a shadow far more than a piece of licorice. So it’s all about observing and analyzing how lighting interacts!

And here’s the gold speckle brush used on the gumdrop: Gold Speckle Brush

Exercise_27_CandySteps

Now I was impressed to see how many entered submissions for this exercise and to see what is generally grasped over other concepts. I think as a whole it seemed that different materials were shaded well now we have to work on pushing the bounce lighting to add more depth. Lighting will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE. So remember that adding light doesn’t just mean adding white and blending it in. Light also affects color hues so remember to try adding warmth to light hues and make shadows more cool colors (often a neutral grey will do the trick!) Below are my top picks for this exercise. Great job to digitdrk12, and paula41297. I liked what i was seeing in terms of different surface textures, lighting nuances, and overall depth of that candy. I think they all looked pretty “sweet”. See you guys next week for the next exercise =D

usersubmissions Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to practice and strengthen your work!

 

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Exercise 26: Shading Gems http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/06/09/exercise-26-shading-gems/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/06/09/exercise-26-shading-gems/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 21:31:27 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=16754 Exercise26_FeatureHow do Exercises work and how can I participate? Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe. The community will submit their own work along ]]> Exercise26_Feature

How do Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, June 20th, THIS post will be updated with the new images and any tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 26 (E26) – Shading Gems

EXERCISE:  To practice the art of shading gems accurately with confidence.

  • Two (2) Week Exercise!

This exercise is to be confident in adding gems, jewelry, or ornate decorations to your future character designs or adding set details. Adding simple gems around a necklace, head pieces or through other jewelry pieces can add that extra detail your character may need to add more interest. These are simple to create and when you know how to add them accurately, it’s a nice tool you can feel confident working in your character designs! Below is the handout sheet and you can HIDE the layer containing all the wording and “tips” so that you are left with 6 clean outlines of different gems.

The 6 different gems are as follows: 

  1. Smooth Gems, often seen with a translucent color and material. Allow light to pass through the gem and work with the tip chart further down below
  2. What is normally seen as an “Emerald Cut” Start doing research on “Faceted” surfaces and the appearance they create!
  3. This is a look that has similar size cuts throughout, focus on creating a random palette to create the illusion of a shiny gemstone.
  4. Let’s mix what is learned from the last two gems and create the “Pear Shape Cut” and work to create a symmetry.
  5. The Classic Diamond. Let’s start adding subtle gradients to further the illusion of the reflective gemstone!
  6. Bring it all together and put your heart into creating the final gemstone on our chart!

Lastly, try having each gem be a different color and look at reference to see how different gems (emerald, ruby, amethyst, sapphire, topaz, etc.) carry a particular color and how to accurately depict them!

DOWNLOAD: Download this Exercise 26 Practice Sheet .PSD HERE.

Exercise_26_PracticeSheet_handout

TIPS:

Below is the chart created a while back to help with the smooth gem look. This could double as an “Amber” type material as well. Remember that lighting is very important for these kind of studies and often the most overlooked. The direction of the light will have a direct impact on the look of the gem, especially if the gem allows light to pass throughout the material and be reflected multiple times. Don’t forget the shadow as well, the color of the gem will often be apparent in the closer part of the shadow to the gem itself.

shading_a_gem_step_by_step_chart_by_conceptcookie-d6m0ibg

GOAL: To be confident in future pieces while adding gems, jewelry, or ornate decoration to your pieces.

This will be a great tool for you guys to have handy whenever you will need it in future creations. You don’t want to skip adding a neat asset to your character just because you’re not sure how to create it properly!

The Results Update – June 20th 2014

This exercise was a true gem! Below is a step by step on how I created each of the gemstones from the exercise practice sheet. I broke it down into each significant step on what was included or added:

  1. Outline - Begin with the shape of each gem, do research if you’re looking for a specific cut! Try to do this on a separate layer to hide in step 4.
  2. Solid Base - Choose a color and try working in a darker value shade of that hue.
  3. Color Variants - This is when we start to create the illusion of faceting, when each “plane” of a gem will catch the light and reflect it at a slightly different value of that same hue. Think about where the light source is coming from as well.
  4. Remove Outlines and Add Gradients - This will give the gem a solid foundation from here to detail further! Subtle gradients will add that extra touch of realism.
  5. Sharp Angles Brush - The intense sharp angles that are seen in gems can be recreated with an angles brush set to overlay or multiply. You can download our brush HERE.
  6. Highlights - Work along the edges of the different facets and this will give the gem a sense of realism along with separating the planes from one another.
  7. Detailing and Polishing – Add any final detail and “polishing” to give your gem an extra something to make it stand out. I also like working in the shadows and pop in some color.

 

Exercise_26_GemSteps

COMMUNITY RESULTS:

There are some fantastic results and you guys really seemed to understand the concept and made it your own. Shoutouts to the following who created the submissions below: iko-zRuben Bimmeldigitd, and talkis! I enjoyed seeing how some took a more realistic approach while others did more stylized gems.

community-results

Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to practice and strengthen your work!

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Exercise 25: Influence Chart http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/05/27/exercise-25-influence-chart/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/05/27/exercise-25-influence-chart/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 19:40:08 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=16415 exercise25_featureHow do Exercises work and how can I participate? Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe. The community will submit their own work along ]]> exercise25_feature

How do Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, June 6th, THIS post will be updated with the new images and any tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 25 (E25) – Influence Chart

EXERCISE:  To look at which artists inspire you and where your personal style derives from.

  • Two (2) Week Exercise!

This exercise is different then the previous ones on CoCo. This one focuses not on art fundamentals or tips/techniques on creating concept art. This exercise focuses on YOU as an artist. Where do your influences and tastes come from? Who are the artists that have made an impact on how you create your art? These are great questions that when answered, gives you a better look at your own style and where it derives from.

Where did this idea come from? Full credit goes to Mel Herring, better known to the art community as PurpleKecleon. While at the ACEN convention last weekend, Diandra and I got to meet Mel and after we were talking for a while we got on the topic of giving credit to the artists that have influenced us. And this is where this exercise began. I believe it’s a great way to also showcase how to use your influences rather than directly coping from them.

Diandra: I believe there’s a right and a wrong way to be inspired. Your work should be a Frankenstein of all the styles you’ve come to appreciate, of everything you love and want to draw and wish to be like. Being heavily-influenced by one particular artist is perfectly fine, just be sure not to cross the line of copying their art directly or following too closely. Studies are studies, but keep this in mind as you aim to produce original pieces. Become your own person. Learn what you can from them and apply the knowledge and move on.

DOWNLOAD: Download this Exercise 25 Practice Sheet .PSD HERE.

How does this work? Let’s break it down into simple steps.

  1. Download the handout above
  2. Put your name in the center of this reference
  3. Put the artwork BELOW the tan layer so that the art is cropped nicely
  4. Write the names of the artists below the art.
  5. Link to the artist in the description so that people can check out their work!

What are the different categories? Let’s take a look at them one by one and give a description of each.

  • Color - This artists uses color so well that it becomes less about the subject matter and more about their use of color and the harmony they create with it.
  • Style – Their work stands out and you recognize it immediately. This is an artist you look forward to seeing each new update.
  • Rendering – The way they shade and work their pieces with unique brushstrokes, compositions, etc.
  • Comic Art – They work fast and efficient. They stand out to you in a medium that often blurs together.
  • Top Influences – They have been an influence for you over the years and still does. (Also consider your longterm favorite artists)
  • Realism – They work very well in art that resembles or replicates realism.
  • Sketching – They are a master with a pencil and create beautiful pieces in a traditional medium
  • Concept Artist – They work hard at a studio and are often the art leads/directors of their department.
  • Cute Style – They have a way of creating art that appeals to you just for being cute.
  • Interesting – Artists that intrigue you for either how unique or strange their work is.

And YES, you can have the same artist be in two categories!

Exercise25_InflueneceChart

TIPS:

Really look at your past influences and well as your present ones. You can take the one I have in process as an example and use it to create your own.

Exercise25_Vonn_InflueneceChart

GOAL: To realize your influences, tastes, and knowledge on what creates your own style!

This will give you a reflection of your own work and be able to recognize who influences your style.

The Results Update – June 6th 2014

Below is my filled out influence chart, some were harder to nail down over others. I will say I wish I would have created a few more options or categories such as “Interesting New Artist” but hindsight doesn’t change a thing. I have put the links of each artist below the chart so that you can check out some of my favorite artists and influences. These seem to change every year on each category and I was glad to see all the other charts you’ve created have completely new artists that I’ve never heard of.

I hope this has enlightened each of those who have submitted to give a better look at who influences them and where each of our tastes develop from!

Exercise25_Vonn_InflueneceChart

Color

Style

Rendering

Comic Art

Top Influences

Realism

Sketching

Concept Artist

Cute Style

Interesting

Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to practice and strengthen your work!

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Exercise 24: Let’s Draw the Nose http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/05/06/exercise-24-lets-draw-nose/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/05/06/exercise-24-lets-draw-nose/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 18:07:55 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=15897 Exercise_FeatureHow do Exercises work and how can I participate? Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe. The community will submit their own work along ]]> Exercise_Feature

How do Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, May 16th, THIS post will be updated with the new images and any tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 24 (E24) – Let’s Draw the Nose

EXERCISE:  To understand how to sketch, shade, and color the Nose properly and accurately.

  • Two (2) Week Drawing Exercise!

This exercise takes us back to the basic understandings of drawing a fundamental facial feature, the nose. This has been requested multiple times and now we are going to isolate this feature and look at how it is shaped in the process of memorizing how the forms hold and how to shade the nose properly. This exercise breaks it down into 3 different sections: the sketching phase, the shading phase, and the coloring phase. So you can download the exercise handout and complete each square as follows:

1. front view sketch          2. side view sketch         3. 3/4 view sketch

4. front view shaded         5. side view shaded        6. 3/4 view shaded

7. pale skin colored          8. olive skin colored        9. dark skin colored

After you create the top row, copy those sketches down into the second row and use those as a base to shade on top of, working solely in greyscale. Think about the lighting and how it would wrap around the different forms of the nose. The nose is a mixture of rounded shapes and edges so imagine shading different spheres in a bundled cluster. For the last row, this is where the challenge comes in. Do your best to sketch, color, and shade different tones of skin. One nose for each square. Look at reference images and notice how light affects the color of each tone and how skin has a lot of underlying color. Skin is a mixture of colors ranging from warm flesh tones to cooler highlights. Take your time with each, especially if you are adding subsurface scattering in areas where the nose thins out, mainly in the nostril region.

DOWNLOAD: Download this Exercise 24 Practice Sheet .PSD HERE.

Exercise24_LetsDrawaNose

TIPS:

Last year I created a nose reference for some quick tips. Did some re-touches here and there, but this is still a great reference for some quick tips to remind yourself how to draw the nose. As with most things, break the nose down into shapes and shade those shapes accordingly. Don’t overthink it and if it looks forced or the lighting too intense, change it. Don’t allow yourself to settle with mediocrity. Keep pushing those forms and values until you are proud of the results!

FacialReference_Thenose

GOAL: Establish confidence in understanding how to draw, shade, and color the nose properly and accurately

If you are looking to be a character artist, the facial features are essential to understand. This is one of those exercises that should be ingrained into your mind so that when you are working on a face, you don’t have to worry or stress about making the nose look correct, you will have the confidence that you know exactly how it should be shaded!

RELATED MATERIALS:

The Results Update

Diandra: shines are your friend! but don’t overdo it. Noses are all different shapes and sizes, experiment! Below is my final outcome.

nosesbydi

Tim: There were some great submissions and we really enjoyed seeing the variety in the nose structures! Look forward to a full nose tutorial and walkthrough next week! Remember to not let the nose intimidate you. Work with it as different shapes and don’t be timid laying down some basework before you detail on top. It’s easier to have gesture lines or quick sketches to shape out the nose to draw on top of. Also remember that when shading the nose, keep those shapes in mind and just imagine lighting those basic shapes and have the values reflect that! Great work to those that submitted.

usersubmissions

Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to practice and strengthen your work!

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Exercise 23: A “Classic” Paintover http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/04/14/exercise-23-classic-paintover/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/04/14/exercise-23-classic-paintover/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:57:27 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=15287 Exercise_FeatureHow do Exercises work and how can I participate? Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe. The community will submit their own work along ]]> Exercise_Feature

How do Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • Every other Monday we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with a 2 week timeframe.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, May 2nd, THIS post will be updated with the new images and any tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 23 (E23) – A “Classic” Paintover

EXERCISE: Take/Find a screenshot of a still in a “classic” animation movie and paint over with a modern update.

  • Three (3) Week Drawing Exercise!

This has been recently popularized by Tyson Murphy, who did a brilliant job with his paint overs of “The Sword in the Stone” and “101 Dalmations“. You can find those and more on his tumblr page HERE. This has been something I’ve seen a few artists do in the past but only until Tyson recreated his did I realize the pure exercise behind it. With the concept and base colors laid out, the focus is ENTIRELY on the shading. So rather than spending the time having to think creatively for a sleek concept or a dynamic composition, your mind can focus on what’s already given and shade it so that the image is brought to life in a more modernized style. So how do you go about choosing the screen cap?

  1. Find a classic animation movie and take a screenshot of a point that would be a great study to shade over.
  2. Find a shot that is flat and static in it’s layout and color choices. The simpler the shot, the more you have to work with!
  3. Bring that screenshot into the handout given below, and place the screenshot in both the top area and a duplicate in the bottom area.
  4. Paintover the bottom screenshot however you would like, focusing on the shading and lighting.

DOWNLOAD: Download this Exercise 23 Practice Sheet .PSD HERE.

Exercise23_PracticeSheet

TIPS:

Imagine the scene in a 3d space and how the shading would act with the atmosphere and light sources in the scene. Not sure where the light source is? Add one! This may help you give more forms to the objects in the screenshot.

GOAL: Isolating shading and focusing on bringing a flat shaded screenshot to life!

I love the classic Disney films and after much debate with what I would like to paint over, I decided to go with the Don Bluth classic, “The Secret of Nimh”. Besides the fact that I enjoyed his films growing up and to this day, but the style was always darker than Disney seemed to create. And who knows, if there is extra time maybe I could get around to doing a Disney one as well. I believe this is a great exercise to practice solely on shading and can be recreated as many times as you like for good practice!

Screenshot from: The Secret of Nimh. Dir. Don Bluth. Don Bluth Films, 1982. thesecretofnimh

RELATED MATERIAL:

  • The Piero Course – The Piero course is a great tutorial series that focuses on shading on a flat base. It’s perfect if you would like a video guidance to help you out!
  • Exercise 08: Material Studies – This exercise was a practice on shading/rendering different materials and textures. Another practice for shading abilities.

The Results Update

For two weeks, I worked on the Nimh paint over during the “Weekly Wednesday Livestream”. After spending more of my time to finish it, I wasn’t enjoying the process and these exercises are meant to be fundamentally helpful but fun as well. So…..nimhsnippet

Surprise! I decided to switch over to a Disney classic, “The Little Mermaid” and paint the villain, Ursula. This was a fantastic exercise for me to work on since I love shading, and giving values to create form. Ursula provides many rounded shapes along with the two eel’s giving slender forms but with wrinkled and pushed faces to create interesting values there as well.

Screenshot from: The Little Mermaid. Dir. Ron Clements. Disney Films, 1989. 

Exercise23_PracticeSheet-copy

I was so very impressed by the user results on this exercise. This was an exercise that seemed not only did most, if not everyone understood, but the results were fantastic. So many great ones and they were fun to see which movies were chosen as well as how they were treated as a paint over. It was hard only choosing 6 to showcase, but in order they are as follows below:

  1. The Land Before Time by: astaret
  2. Lady and the Tramp by: Natasha LaMothe-Mason
  3. Pinocchio by: doebber
  4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit by: shrapnel
  5. Jungle Book by: blueberryontop
  6. Alice in Wonderland by: h0n3yd011

communitycluser

Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to practice and strengthen your work!

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Exercise 22: Familiar Faces http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/03/25/exercise-22-familiar-faces/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/03/25/exercise-22-familiar-faces/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:11:14 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=15185 Exercise-22-featureHow do Exercises work and how can I participate? On Mondays, we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with either a 1 week or a 2 week timeframe. The community will submit ]]> Exercise-22-feature

How do Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • On Mondays, we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with either a 1 week or a 2 week timeframe.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, April 4th, THIS post will be updated with the new images and any tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 22 (E22) – Familiar Faces

EXERCISE: Sketch and draw out 20 recognizable/familiar faces.

  • Two (2) Week Drawing Exercise!

Anatomy practice and working on refining features is always good to continue developing your skills. This exercise challenges your level of skill to create 20 sketches of familiar faces. These could be sketches of celebrities, people circulating in the media, leaders, historical figures, or whomever else you may choose. The challenge is to create that figure and have it be recognizable. Now, that may seem a relatively easy task, but each person has a unique look to their individual facial features, meaning you can’t just rely on the stock images you have in your head on how to create each facial region. Instead, you have to analyze each of your picks and really look at how their features appear. If you are able to show someone your 20 sketches and have that person be able to recognize them, you have done a good job!

How do you sketch each person you choose? Browse your search engine results of your familiar faces and choose a photo of them that easily defines the features and their face isn’t hidden by hair or hard to see. As you are working on the sketch, be diligent and continue looking back to capture the look of the profile you are creating.

DO NOT DRAW OVER A PHOTO AT LOW OPACITY. This defeats the whole purpose of working and analyzing your work to refine and correct how you perceive the photos and make fixes accordingly.

TIPS:

The best way to complete this exercise? Try drawing about 2 a day until the two weeks are up or you have about 20 sketches done. These are great for warmups in the beginning of a work day or if you are looking to progress your skill level with characters/anatomy. When working, don’t attempt to achieve a high level of detail right away. Try blocking out the face/head shapes and start working from there. Now, each artist has a way of working – so start with what’s comfortable for you and remember to save the refinements for last. This should speed up your process and help you become a more effective (and efficient!) artist in the long run. Lastly, don’t spend too much time on each drawing. Roughly 10-15 minutes is a good practice speed without making you feel rushed or becoming sloppy due to a time constraint. Also, color is not recommended so that you can focus on the features and the values from the light source.

DOWNLOAD: Download this Exercise 22 Practice Sheet .PSD HERE.

Below is the practice sheet you can download and the extras are contained in their own folder that you can hide. If you are curious, I left each of the layers of the two faces down so you can check them out.

CITIZEN MEMBERS: The complete finished .PSD will be available next Friday with each of the twenty familiar faces and the layers used to create them. You can check them out individually and see how each layer adds to the overall look and refinement of the face.

Exercise22_PracticeSheet

GOAL: To define and interpret features that distinguish a recognizable face.

Features are different for every person, whether their noses are wider, eyes are hooded, or lips slim. Having multiple references that you can practice from forces the eye to see these subtle differences and differentiate between them while drawing. The overall goal is to have someone look at your sketches and be able to recognize as many as possible!

RELATED MATERIAL:

Reference_Eyes_02

  • Concept Cookie References - First, do you need some visual references for drawing the different facial features? Each region of the face has it’s own reference resource you can use and check out.
  • Exercise 4 – Facial Expressions – This earlier exercise takes a look at really expressing and repositioning the facial features to express and capture an emotion. Good practice for working on more studies.
  • Female Character Series - Want some more character-focused tutorials that cover not only the face, but look at creating a character as a whole? This free tutorial series is just for you!

The Results Update

This was a difficult exercise, not only because of the timeframe but in terms of creating the content as well. Something I noticed while doing this exercise was how practicing doing the faces in different styles was a sub challenge in itself. There are many different ways you could go about this exercise but the goal was not in detailing, rendering or shooting for hyper-realism but rather reaching to achieve the look of a familiar face with discerning recognizable features. This could be done in a quick sketch or a lineart style look.
The goal is not meant to have each face take longer than 10 minutes. I noticed some of my own sketches were starting to take longer than expected because I kept reworking areas, so I got caught up in detailing when I didn’t need to. Be mindful of this when working on your own, be aware of what takes you a long time to complete and how to go about fixing/speeding that section up!
TIP: Do not get caught up in detailing! Laying out shapes, values, anchor points, and capturing the “look” of the face is far more important.
This is a great exercise that you should continue practicing over and over again to constantly update the way you see and analyze facial features. Below is my take on the 20 familiar faces, usually did no more than about 2 at a time and as you can see in different styles and mediums.
Citizen Members can download the .PSD below containing all the different layers for this exercise as well as “step by step” layers for each of the ones that it could apply to.
You must be a citizen member to view this content
Exercise22_Results3

Trying to guess the above faces? Here is a cheat sheet in the row order =]

1. Daniel Craig      2. Lana del Rey      3. Wolverine      4. Lady Gaga      5. Marilyn Monroe      6. Leonardo DiCaprio    

7. Miley Cyrus      8. Rihanna      9. Antonia Thomas      10. Charlotte Free      11. Katy Perry      12. Harry Styles      13. Louis Tomlinson

14. Daenerys      15. Walter White      16. The Penguin      17. Maleficent      18. Bieber      19. Tyrion      20. Ariana Grande

COOKIE COMMUNITY SUBMISSIONS:

A big shoutout to  and  for finishing this incredible daunting exercise! I only began to realize how much time and effort would be involved once i hit the third one and this is a fun exercise that could easily be more fitting over a course timeframe. Regardless, you both pulled it out and riceart really hit a home run with their submission, doing full enveloped studies, also including a background surrounding. To those that weren’t able to finish, there were still some good entries even with ‘s submission, even though each face is a bit disproportionate, I am still easily able to recognize each of those three faces without it being an overemphasized caricature.

usersubmissions

Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to strengthen your work!

]]> http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/03/25/exercise-22-familiar-faces/feed/ 19 Exercise 21: Golden http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/03/10/golden/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/03/10/golden/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 02:11:23 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=14978 exercise21_feature
How Exercises work and how can I participate? On Mondays we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with either a 1 week or 2 week goal. The community will submit their own ]]> exercise21_feature

How Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • On Mondays we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with either a 1 week or 2 week goal.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, March 21st THIS post will be updated with the new images and any learning tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 21 (E21) – Golden

EXERCISE: To create the appearance of Gold on 6 different subject matters.

  • Two (2) Week Drawing Exercise!

You can use gold on many different materials and surfaces from a golden helm to the stitching of a golden fleece. The trick is knowing how to accurately create the appearance of gold. Gold itself is a metal material. A metal surface will most often reflect light rather than absorbing it. We created a reference last year that give you a quick look at one way of creating the “golden” look. 

Citizens: To download the “Metal” Brush pack that is used in the reference below, download them HERE.

how_to_paint_gold_tutorial_by_conceptcookie-d5eshvk

DOWNLOAD: Download this Golden Exercise Practice sheet .PSD HERE.

In the .PSD you can hide the “instructional layer” so that you can work without the type getting in the way. You can either work right on top, underneath, or create your own version of each of the subject matters.

  1. Material Sphere – Start off with the simplest way to observe a material by creating a sphere of it. This allows you to get an idea of how light hits the texture and how much is reflected/absorbed.
  2. Gold Ring – Now we are starting to take a look at curving the edge. Keep in mind where that light source is coming from. Reference will help for this one!
  3. Golden Crown – This is a good example of introducing a straight edge and how to work with a curved edge on the bottom side while working with straight edges on the crown points.
  4. Gold Fabric Trim – This is a great way to see the gradient that gold forms. it is a mixture of reflection areas and areas in shadow.
  5. Golden Artifact – The last two are examples of difficult subject matters with lots of curved edges and intricate areas where two angles meet up right against each other.
  6. Golden Armor – This armor piece has a lot of curved areas that will be a challenge in placing your lighting.

exercise_21_practicesheet

GOAL: To understand how to create the visual appearance of gold on multiple materials and surfaces.

Gold is a great and useful shading technique that can be applied to various different areas of characters, environments, vehicles, weapons, etc. You can then use the gold technique whenever you need it, accurately and really make your pieces “shine”.

RELATED EXERCISES:

  • Getting Started – Lighting and Building Values - Not sure where to begin? This is a fundamental tutorial to understand lighting. This is important because gold is a metal and it reflects light based on the angle and direction of that light source.
  • Getting Started – Materials – This gives you the next best place to go to understand how every materials work in relation to lighting and how the surface texture is suppose to respond to that light whether or not it reflects or absorbs.
  • Exercise 08 – Material Studies - This is a material study exercise that explores 9 different materials that are different from one another to show how to render different objects effectively.

The Results Update -

exercise21_feature

I’m glad to see you guys seemed to have fun with this exercise! Was really digging the submissions that brought their own sense of style into the exercise especially with the bottom three objects in the given handout.

Also, don’t feel limited to the small palette that is included with this exercise. Gold can come in a multitude of colors. Since gold is a metallic material, the colors will depend on the environment around it. The light source is a big determining factor but also the environment that the gold is surrounded by will be affected in the reflection of the gold. Not nearly as influenced as the light source but still should be thought about. Adding just a bit of texture will also give it an extra bit of detail that can sway it from looking flat and too smooth.

COMMUNITY STANDOUTS:

Golden Example 1:  really exemplified an understanding of creating gold with the given palette and the addition of the ivory alongside the gold was a smart choice. The subtle variations from the cracks to speckle were just pronounced enough to add that variation that is needed when doing a metal type material.

Golden Example 2:  did a fantastic job on theirs on taking a dry look to their golden objects and they appear to have a faded sand textured look to them thats fits really well.

community_example

Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to strengthen your work!

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Exercise 20: Shape Challenge III http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/02/17/exercise-shape-challenge-iii/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/02/17/exercise-shape-challenge-iii/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 21:21:14 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=14735 Exercise_FeatureHow Exercises work and how can I participate? On Mondays we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with either a 1 week or 2 week goal. The community will submit their own ]]> Exercise_Feature

How Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • On Mondays we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with either a 1 week or 2 week goal.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, February 28th THIS post will be updated with the new images and any learning tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

Exercise 20 (E20) – Shape Challenge III

EXERCISE: To take the seemingly random lineart and create something from these existing outlines

  • Two (2) Week Drawing Exercise!

We have done a Shape Challenge before with Exercise 07 and Exercise 12 since they are great ways to practice your current skill levels and apply them creatively in a pre-determined outline. This is a great exercise to be done by beginners in digital art and those that have been working digitally for years.

Like said in the previous exercise, this is a fundamental exercise that forces creativity from a given limitation. It allows the artist to explore their own abilities and showcase how they interpret each shape. While it’s important to fill in the different outlines completely, it’s equally important to not force anything to fit the outline and have the form make sense.

DOWNLOAD: Download this Exercise Shape Challenge .PSD HERE.

ShapeChallengeIII

GOAL: To explore your current abilities and how you interpret each given outline creatively.

Do not force something to fit within the shape. THAT is the challenge. Think creatively and give each section of the outline purpose. You can check out previous entires on the below exercise pages to see examples of finished submissions that worked and those that did not work. It is a fun challenge so challenge yourself but don’t exhaust your concept. If it won’t fit within the given outline, try something else.

RELATED EXERCISES: Previous Shape Challenges

  • Exercise 07: Shape Challenge - The first shape challenge was neat to see all the different submissions and how positively these sort of exercises are received by the community.

shapeexamples

vonnhalloweenshapes2

The Results Update – Friday, February 28th 2014.

Good work everyone that participated. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Below are some of the animated profiles that I created for this challenge. Admittedly the first one did force the hair to fit the shape, but besides that it was a fun break from the the typical work flow.

Citizen Members: You can download the final .PSD and look through the layers to see the process step by step on the below completed shapes. You must be a citizen member to view this content

ShapeChallengeIII_results

This was a fun exercise to see expand throughout the net outside of Concept Cookie. Deviantart had a slew of submissions and this exercise even got marketing from Sketchbook Pro. With the results post of these “shape challenges” I see that you guys understood the challenge and a few made me laugh with the concepts you came up. There are a few here and there (just like with mine) where part of the subject matter felt forced to fit the shape but overall well done and I look forward to future shape challenges!

usersubmissions

Remember: You can always submit even after the week is over! These are meant to act as exercises to strengthen your work!

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Exercise 19: Braiding http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/02/10/exercise-braiding/ http://cgcookie.com/concept/2014/02/10/exercise-braiding/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 23:27:11 +0000 http://cgcookie.com/concept/?p=14638 braidedfeature3How Exercises work and how can I participate? On Mondays we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with either a 1 week or 2 week goal. The community will submit ]]> braidedfeature3

How Exercises work and how can I participate?

  • On Mondays we will create a new exercise with a new topic and goal with either a 1 week or 2 week goal.
  • The community will submit their own work along with myself and provide feedback or tips on the submissions.
  • On Friday, February 14th THIS post will be updated with the new images and any learning tips and techniques learned along the way.
  • How can I participate? – Read the exercise challenge below and submit your image via the “Submit Image” button below.

One (1) Week Drawing Exercise 19 (E19) – Braiding

EXERCISE: Create 5 examples of braiding on the given worksheet

Braiding is more than just a hairstyle for girls. Braiding refers to the overlapping and look of intersecting strands whether it be hair, leather, chain link, etc. This is a simple exercise one you understand the way different strands lay over each other. This isn’t to say men can’t have braids either. Look at the Lord of the Ring movies for example, and how they treat braids on male characters. The “look” of braiding can also be found in armor, clothing, and accessories. It is a simple yet basic skill to have at your disposal.

What should you look at for doing this exercise?

  • What “trick” you will use to remember how to place the braids. Either remember the zig-zig in the middle or replicating the shaping of the bumps.
  • Look at real life references and examples. Study how the light affects the different strands and how it gives it form.
  • For hair, remember that loose strands will escape from the hair and it won’t all be slicked back into the braid.

For this exercise, there are 5 concepts that you can practice on. Each slightly different from each other but all exploring the same concept.

1. The first a simple braid front shot. Figure out which way you will draw braids, and which works best for you!

2. The second  braided armor. This is a tight braid pattern, that will curve around the form of the arm.

3. The third is the handle of a weapon. This is a tight braid to practice. Keep the lines more straight, less curvy.

4. The fourth is a braid that falls on the shoulder. This is when the hair is pulled back and is brought around to one side.

5. The fifth is a braid that starts near the hairline and gets pulled in the back. This is to practice braids at different angles.

DOWNLOAD:

Download this Exercise Practice Sheet on Braiding HERE . There is a layer that hides all the markings below!

Braiding

GOAL: To acquire another skill set to add to your knowledge for purpose of future use.

I will go over drawing realistic braiding in this weeks livestream (hopefully Twitch will be working, if not I’ll notify everyone on our Facebook page).

RELATED TUTORIALS: Character Based and Getting Started.

Need some visual references or examples? Braid references are everywhere, just search for “braids” ;)

The Results Update – Friday, February 14th 2014. 

This week I’ve been working with learning the different techniques artists use to create the braided pattern, as I found out there were many. Rather than only choosing one, three examples of the process were included in this Braided Reference resource that was created to help out with creating your own braids. As noted, the ones with the “X” above them aren’t wrong, just inaccurate. In comics, manga, animation, or any media that relies on quick paced results, braids that are simplified are often used, hence why they are not wrong.

The different ways to create the braid are as follows

  1. Repeated Shape – Create that shape with three pointed corners and a smooth one, and repeat it down the line while mirroring the shape on the opposite side.
  2. Zig-Zag Pattern – First draw a tight zigzag going down the line you want the braid to fall on. Then create a curved line going upwards until you meet with the “stopping point”
  3. Curved Live – I would consider this one the most difficult but it’s when you draw a curved line in sequence and then repeat it on the opposite side, not mirrored, but slightly higher or lower. Finish it off with the zigzag going down the center to connect the two!

Lastly, it’s important to note that the braided pattern can be used for more than just hair. You can see the pattern in weaponry, armor, tiles, and within various other patterns. It’s not just for girls either. If you look at even newer fantasy movies like the Hobbit, both the dwarves and elves are lavished with braids intermingled in their hair.

You can download the full size Braided Reference: HERE

Resource_Braiding-Recovered

The user submissions this week were fantastic and in these two shaded submissions, they really understood the braided pattern and how to apply it in their work. The linework example is my own and was meant to showcase the pattern of the braid, i didn’t expect users to render and shade the example practice sheet but these two users went above and beyond the call for this week. Besides one of the examples losing the pattern near the top both submissions showed great examples of using the braided pattern!

BRaidingexamplesRemember: You can always submit an exercise even after the week is over! Check back next week for the newest exercise.

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